Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas superintendent search: Where to begin?

LARGO — And they're off!

Pinellas County School Board members began the race Tuesday to find their fourth superintendent in eight years.

A week after John Stewart announced his plans to leave the district in December, board members discussed who they should hire to help them find his replacement.

Should they go with the Florida School Boards Association, which led the $11,446 search that ended with them hiring Julie Janssen in 2008? Or should they open it up to national firms like Hazard, Young and Attea Associates, which helped them land Clayton Wilcox in 2004 for a search cost of $62,435?

Expect a vote on the issue during the March 20 board meeting.

Though a majority of the board — Linda Lerner, Peggy O'Shea, Terry Krassner, Janet Clark and Carol Cook — said they would like to work with FSBA, board chairwoman Robin Wikle and board member Glenton Gilzean want to hear from others.

"I think if we just jump off and use this one agency without doing our homework, I think that's dangerous," Gilzean said.

In 2004, the FSBA, led by executive director Wayne Blanton, helped lead the board through a four-month search that resulted in the district offering its top job to Alberto Carvalho then a 19-year veteran of Miami-Dade school district. When Carvalho turned down the position, the board hired Janssen.

Stewart called Blanton, whom he's known for 30 years, "a natural choice" and "national leader."

Blanton played a role in the board's decision to hire Stewart as interim superintendent after Janssen's firing.

"He knows what you would be looking for in the way of a leader," Stewart said, "and he knows each of you individually, too, and what you're expectations, your aspirations and your desires are."

Wikle said that opening up the process to more firms shows diligence: "It's a lot of work, but that's what we're here to do."

Pinellas superintendent search: Where to begin? 03/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.