JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As of November 12, Duval County School Board will have a new superintendent. Dr Nikolai Vitti's contract was approved by the board this morning.
The Duval County School Board unanimously approved the contract for Dr. Nikolai Vitti as Duval County School Board's new superintendent. Vitti will receive a $275,000 salary each year, through June 2016.
But the decision came after some debate over Vitti's salary. "I find it irresponsible financially for us to approve this contract for $275,000 in light of the budgetary constraints," says board member Paula Wright.
Wright stated that most Duval County Public School employees have not have a raise in about 5 or 6 years, and most new employees are starting at a base salary. So she says, it would be sending a wrong message by paying Dr. Vitti that salary, based on his lack of experience. Other board members disagreed. "We're hiring for the position, not hiring for the man," said W.C. Gentry.
Board member Martha Barrett says, "I think the salary was very fair and commiserate to the fact that this superintendent is going to be involved with 123-thousand students. 14-thousand employees. It's a huge amount of responsibility."
And when it came time to vote, it was initially 6-to-1, with Paula Wright the only dissenting vote. But Wright later changed her vote, making the approval of Dr. Vitti's contract unanimous. "The salary was a secondary issue that I decided to leave as a secondary issue," says Wright.
Dr. Vitti will receive a 6-thousand dollar stipend for his first two months in Duval county. He'll also be reimbursed 8-thousand dollars for his move from Miami.
Vitti will step in as the new superintendent November 12, just two days before a new school board.