Fred Heid began his career in education more than 20 years ago as a teacher at Booker Middle School in Sarasota County, Fla.
During his third year as a teacher, Mr. Heid was recognized as Sarasota County’s Teacher of the Year. The experience inspired him to earn a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the University of South Florida.
He was hired as an assistant principal at Westridge Middle School in Orange County, where he developed a data-driven instructional program to better target students’ academic needs.
In 2006, Mr. Heid was promoted to principal of Liberty Middle School. He successfully transformed the school’s culture and academic performance, improving its grade from a “C” to an “A” on the State of Florida’s school report card.
Based on that success, Mr. Heid was asked to transfer to Memorial Middle School, which he improved from a “D” to a “C.” He accomplished this by fostering a structured academic environment with a keen focus on academic rigor, literacy development and a culture of achievement.
In June 2010, Mr. Heid joined the Florida Department of Education. He served as Bureau Chief for School Improvement and leader for Florida’s Differentiated Accountability (DA) project, where his duties included the monitoring and support of 300 schools in DA targeted assistance. As Bureau Chief, Mr. Heid supervised 98 field staff who were embedded within the lowest performing schools. He also served as part of the FLDOE team that developed and led the state’s rulemaking process related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver and DA process.
Mr. Heid later served as the Chief Academic Officer for Duval County Public Schools, responsible for more than 127,000 students in 200 schools.
In June 2014, Mr. Heid was appointed as Superintendent of District 300 in Algonquin, Illinois, serving over 20,000 students. As Superintendent, he established a five-year strategic plan focused on achieving the district’s central mission: to ensure all students are college and career ready upon graduation. He also implemented a new organizational chart to maximize productivity, secured a four-year contract with the teacher’s union, expanded tuition-free full-day kindergarten districtwide, organized one of the largest 1:1 programs in the state, and developed Pathways programs offering high school students opportunities to earn industry credentials, internships with local business, and college credit before graduation.
During his tenure as Superintendent, the graduation rate for District 300 increased to more than 90 percent.
In April 2021, Mr. Heid was unanimously selected to become the new superintendent of Polk County Public Schools. He now oversees one of Florida’s largest school districts, serving more than 110,000 students and approximately 14,000 employees.