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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Who voted for who



Yes, this is inside baseball, but we know some of you die-hards need this stuff as bad as we need that first cup of coffee by 7:01 a.m., so here it is, a list of who the seven Board of Education members put on their individual shorts lists after interviewing the ed commissioner candidates Monday. (On Tuesday morning, the board chose Eric J. Smith, Cheri Yecke and Joseph Marinelli as the finalists. The other four candidates were Jim Warford, Earl Lennard, William Moloney and William Harner.)

  • T. Willard Fair: Smith, Marinelli, Harner
  • Kathleen Shanahan: Smith
  • Donna Callaway: Smith, Yecke, Marinelli
  • Linda Taylor: Smith, Yecke, Harner
  • Phoebe Raulerson, Smith, Yecke, Lennard
  • Akshay Desai: Smith, Yecke, Lennard
  • Roberto Martinez: Smith, Marinelli

Aside from the fact that everyone included Smith, who quit his last superintendency amid a great deal of controversy, perhaps the most notable thing is that chairman Fair had Harner - one of two candidates with no Florida experience - as his top choice. Harner's career has been on a fairly downward spiral, with the former military man unable to find a job of much substance since being forced out of the 63,000-student Greenville, S.C., superintendent's chair.

Also, it's perhaps notable that Yecke, a holdover from the Jeb Bush era, did not appear on the lists of Bush appointees Fair, Shanahan or Martinez (the latter two served on Gov. Crist's transition team). Any message there?

While we're on the subject, give us more of your thoughts about the board's decision: Did anyone foresee that Smith would be the across-the-board favorite? Can anyone explain how Marinelli, who told the board he wasn't a fan of vouchers, still made the final cut? Why didn't Warford, who the Palm Beach Post reported as being the leading candidate a few months back, make a single board member's list?

- Ron Matus and Jeff Solochek

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:23am]


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