INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The hunt is on for a new Schools Superintendent to replace the out-going Dr. Harry La Cava.
The Indian River County School Board approved a contract not to exceed $6,000 with the executive director of the Florida School Boards Association to conduct that search. Prior to the unanimous vote, a member of the Indian River County Education Association, Luke Flynt told the School Board to be mindful of the leadership and communication style candidates have.
Flynt told the board that he believes there is a “trust deficit” between administration and teachers, which starts at the top with Superintendent La Cava.
“I’ve realized that of all of the functions of the superintendent perhaps none has a more far-reaching impact than the tone the superintendent sets,” he said.
Flynt added the new superintendent would be inheriting a culture of low teacher and staff morale and will be tasked with working to transform that culture.
His comments did not evoke a response from the School Board, and Superintendent La Cava was absent from the meeting.
The contract the School Board approved with Dr. Wayne Blanton will be to find qualified candidates with relevant Florida administrative experience.
School Board member Debbie MacKay asked her fellow board members if they are unnecessarily restricting themselves in requiring qualified candidates to have Florida experience.
“I really do think it’s important,” member Claudia Jimenez responded. She explained that the Florida requirement is needed because the way Florida operates is different from most other states.
Jimenez said that she understands that requiring Florida experience could narrow the candidate pool, but that is a risk the School Board has decided it is willing to take.
“We don’t need a learning curve for folks,” member Carol Johnson added. “We need to have somebody who’s ready to go to work for us who has that experience.”
Members of the School Board have said that if the search does not yield qualified candidates, they could amend their criteria and search again.