Under the wire
They missed the official (delayed) deadline, but two more hopefuls have tossed their names into the hat for the chance to lead the Florida Department of Education. One of them previously told the state he wasn't interested.
Thomas Tocco (left), retired superintendent of Fort Worth (Texas) public schools, initially offered to step in as a white knight if the State Board of Education can't reach a consensus after reviewing the first round of candidates. He's had a change of heart and now applies "with great enthusiasm" for the post. Tocco also has been a superintendent in Cobb County, Georgia, and St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. He once worked in the Pinellas school system.
Richard La Pointe is the other candidate, and he's got a pretty heavy resume. He's been deputy assistant secretary and senior advisor for programs and management in the US Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education since 2002. Other posts include a two-year stint as Virginia superintendent of public instruction under Gov. George Allen, and five years as superintendent of Contra Costa schools in California. (LaPointe also was a candidate for Kentucky's commissioner job earlier this year.)
The State Board is supposed to pare down the list of applicants when it meets Tuesday in Tallahassee. To review all the resumes, visit the search web site.