Incoming schools leader looking to ‘build on success’

Incoming Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Mark Mullins made his first public address last week to the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce, touting recent achievements and promising to continue community partnerships and school improvements.

“How do we build on success? It begins with continuing to listen,” Mullins said.

The Brevard School Board approved Mullins’ contract on July 10. He will be paid a base annual salary of $210,000, plus bonuses for annual evaluations and meeting performance goals set by the board.

Outgoing superintendent Desmond Blackburn started at the same salary when he was hired in 2015, but received two raises over the past year that brought his annual pay to $223,800.

Mullins started his career in 1994 as a high school math teacher at Cocoa Beach, and moved into district administration six years later. He has been deputy superintendent and chief operating officer since 2016, overseeing departments including transportation, food and nutrition, purchasing and school security.

He will officially take over as superintendent on Aug. 10.

“To inspire our teachers and our school leaders is an honor,” Mullins told the chamber at their July breakfast event.

He gave the audience a brief overview of several BPS programs, including Career and Technical Education, school choice, discipline and special education.

Mullins highlighted several recent milestones for BPS, including saving costs by consolidating bus routes and eliminating older buses, improved school security and mental health services, changes to the school lunch program and playground improvements. He also pointed out the high grades many local schools regularly receive on the Department of Education’s school report cards.

“All of those accolades, all of those efforts, are enhanced and compounded by our amazing community partnerships,” Mullins said.

He pointed out that Brevard County has 750 “partners in education” – typically private corporations – that donated more than a million dollars to the school district last year.

Mullins said the district will continue with improvements and upgrades to the district’s oldest schools, some of which date back 50 years or more. He also said teacher salaries would be a priority.

“We strive to be competitive,” he said, after an audience member asked about teacher pay. “Are we leading the way? No.”

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