Superintendent Search Update: Citizens Screening Committee Chosen, Will Narrow Down Top Candidates

Superintendent Search Update: Citizens Screening Committee Chosen, Will Narrow Down Top Candidates

News, Superintendent Search
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A group of citizens has been chosen to help narrow down the possible candidates for the next top leader of Polk County Public Schools.

A special school board meeting was held Tuesday evening, and 36 people were selected to serve as members of the Citizens Screening Committee.

The committee members come from diverse backgrounds with experiences and expertise in many fields, such as education, law enforcement, local government, nonprofits, and business. A list of members can be found below (see italics).

The Citizens Screening Committee is tasked with reviewing the applications of people interested in becoming the next PCPS superintendent, and identifying the top candidates who meet the necessary qualifications and qualities to fill this important job. The committee’s list will then be sent to the school board for consideration.

Kay Fields, school board vice chair, expressed her thanks to the committee members for their willingness to serve their community. “They are going to be busy doing a lot of hard work over next few months,” Fields said.

PCPS has contracted with the Florida School Boards Association to conduct the search for the successor of Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd, who is retiring in June 2021.

For several weeks, people have been submitting applications for the position. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. You can check out the latest candidates by visiting the Super Search page and clicking on their names to view their application packets.

The Citizens Screening Committee will conduct meetings to evaluate these application packets.

The committee’s meetings are open to the public, and are scheduled on Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and Feb. 18. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and take place at the Jim Miles Professional Development Center, 4270 Wallace Road in Lakeland.

Those who do not wish to attend in-person will be able to view the committee’s meetings live via Zoom, a video conferencing application. Links to these Zoom video conferences will be available on the Super Search page closer to the meeting dates.

The Citizens Screening Committee will send a list of the top qualified candidates to the school board following the committee’s final meeting on Feb. 18. The school board will whittle the candidates down to semifinalists, who must submit written/video responses to questions. Finalists will then be chosen to go through interviews in April.

“There will also be community meetings or virtual meetings so that as we get to the finalists you (the community) can have input in that sense as well,” Fields said. “So, there will be many, many opportunities for the community to be involved because we want everybody’s input as best we can.”

The school board is planning to select a new superintendent at its April 27 meeting.

For more information and the latest news on the search for the next superintendent, visit the Super Search page.


Citizens Screening Committee members:

Doris Moore Bailey

Ashley Bell-Barnett

Naomi Boyer

Lisa Burke

Gary Clark

Craig Collins

Terry Coney

Susan Copeland

Deric C. Feacher

Sarah Frederick

Angela Garcia-Falconetti

Tiffani Gozdur

David Hallock

Dani Higgins

Deloris Johnson

Grady Judd

Anne Kerr

Travis Keyes

Eddie Lake

Kristine Lally

Kim Long

Sean Malott

Bishop Willie Mincey

Larry Mitchell

Anna Rivera

Laura Rodriguez

John Ruffin

Christine Samuel

Martha Santiago

Justin Sharpless

Cory Skeates

Howe Wallace

Kyle Windham

Katie Worthington

Marcus Wright

Stephanie Yocum