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School Board to cut salary of incoming superintendent

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Members of the Indian River County School Board decided Tuesday to cut the salary of the new superintendent as part of the criteria it is considering in finding a replacement for the departing Dr. Harry La Cava.

“I think it is a good time to put the salary in line with the new economic reality the school district is facing,” said school board member Claudia Jiminez.

The board members put the salary range between $145,000 and $165,000 per year, plus benefits. La Cava, who will be leaving next summer, is currently being paid $175,000 per year.

Dr. Wayne Blanton, who has led 75 school superintendent searches, has been tapped to conduct what will be a national search to run the county public schools. He told the members that a 17,000-student school district should attract many qualified candidates, but did have one caveat.

“To begin the process, I want to let you know that Superman or Superwoman is not out there,” he said.

Board members Karen Disney-Brombach, Carol Johnson, Matt McCain and Jimenez attended the meeting. The fifth seat on the board, currently held by Debbie MacKay, is up for election in November with Jeff Pegler, Kimberly Keithahn, Althea McKenzie vying for the open seat.

The board also decided it wanted the advertising literature to encourage local applicants, though the search would be national in scope. Candidates will be required to have experience working in Florida.

Blanton said a national search could cost as much as $25,000, but that a more likely figure would be in the $15,000 range. The costs will be dictated by how many finalists the board deems qualified and how many it brings in for on-site interviews.

The board also determined qualified candidates must have a Masters Degree, with a doctorate preferred; have worked in a school district with at least 5,000 students and have a knowledge of Florida labor and sunshine laws.

Blanton said with those criteria the search should yield about 50 applicants.

The board also set up a tentative timeline of applications due by Feb. 25 of next year and a final selection made by April 15. The new superintendent is slated to begin on June 1.

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