Pinellas director vying for Sarasota superintendent job
Ron Ciranna really wants to be a Florida superintendent.
He's applied for the top job in Broward, Polk and Charlotte counties. And now, the Pinellas County school district's new director of risk management and insurance has applied to be the next superintendent of Sarasota County.
Ciranna has served as Pinellas' head of human resources since arriving in November 2010 from the Polk County school district where he held the same job. In Pinellas, he earned a salary of $129,687.41 plus a $3,000 supplement for his doctoral degree. Before his Polk job, he was the superintendent of a small Michigan school district from 2000 to 2004.
But in May, Ciranna transferred to his department's risk management and insurance position, a job he used to oversee. He now earns $95,403.01.
"The director of risk management position matched Ron Ciranna’s area of expertise and skill set," said district spokeswoman Lisa Wolf. She said Ciranna's appointment was made after "a careful review of the needs of that department," and said his previous salary did not fall within range of his new position.
Ron Ciranna explained in an email why he accepted a job with lower pay.
"My vast years of experience in this (human resources), along with that of being a chief negotiator, makes me uniquely qualified to fill this void during a critical time as we transition to a self-funded health insurance model," he wrote. The previous director who led that effort, Ted Pafundi, recently retired.
He said he applied for the Sarasota job "because it is an exemplary high performing district rich in tradition of excellence."
"I truly enjoy working in high pressure administrative positions as a servant leader," he wrote.
Ciranna is competing against 49 applicants from 20 states to replace current Sarasota superintendent Lori White, who is scheduled to retire in February. The Sarasota School Board is expected to make their choice by Oct. 18.
Sarasota's school district is half the size of Pinellas with 42,000 students, 5,000 employees and 52 schools.