JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nikolai Vitti accepted the school board's offer to negotiate for the Duval County superintendent position. The School Board voted 5-2 late Tuesday night to select Vitti.
In a statement, Dr. Vitti said, "I am honored by the School Board's decision and deeply respect the transparent process by which I was selected. I look forward to moving through the negotiation process so we can begin the collective work of taking our district to a national model of excellence for students."
The process to choose a superintendent took some time.
School Board President Betty Burney said, "The reason that it has to be so detailed is because we are talking about 125,000 young people who are dependent upon us as a board to select a leader who's going to be able to take them into next century learning."
The final three candidates, Dr. Kriner Cash from Memphis, Dale Robbins from Gwinnett County, Ga., and Dr. Nikolai Vitti from Miami, sat face to face Tuesday with School Board members. Each made his final pitch as to why he is the man for the job.
Dr. Cash said, "I can tell you I have most of what you need going forward. I'm not perfect, but can give you all that I have."
Robbins said, "You can have the most dynamic leader in the world who might come in here and be great at lunch, at a banquet, to tell everybody how wonderful we're gonna be but can't roll up his sleeves and do the nitty, gritty work to make it happen."
Dr. Vitti said, "As superintendent, I hope to create a culture where it's a give and take. It's a synergy of ideas, of experiences to give what kids deserve."
Vitti would replace Ed Pratt-Dannals who is leaving at the end of the year. He's been the superintendent since 2007.