Don't waste money, find a superintendent from within

Published: Sunday, February 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 9:55 p.m.

The Sunday, Jan. 25, article titled "Superintendent Search" included the following qualifications for a new superintendent: "greater community presence . . .strong advocate for the school system. . .put our employees (and community) at ease . . .focused on promotion, motivation and encouragement of district staff . . .experience at the school level, as teacher or principal . . .worked in a district with as many students as Alachua County . . .experience in Florida . . .a strong superintendent . . ."

I have no children in school, I am not in the neighborhoods impacted by redistricting. I just pay my property taxes, year after year. Doing so impresses upon me that $25,000 for a nationwide search is roughly equivalent to the annual salary of one more new teacher.

Surely within the halls of Kirby Smith, there is some person who will fit the requirements determined when the school board " . . . sit[s] down and decide[s] what we want from a superintendent . . .." If not an administrator at Kirby Smith, examine why we haven't been training those assistants to climb the ladder. If not an administrator at Kirby Smith, perhaps a proven educator at one of our schools.

Please, School Board, don't start another " . . . long and costly process ," a process which has shown little success in the past. Perhaps with the assistance of a panel of concerned citizens, find someone within. Then give them a contract and get on with educating the children of Alachua County.

Russell Henderson,


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