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Duval school board eyeing short-term superintendent candidates

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval County School Board is planning to search for a short-term superintendent and discussed the timeline and some possible candidates on Tuesday morning.

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The board said it is looking to fill the superintendent position for up to 6 months to provide immediate guidance and stability so they have more time to look for a long-term candidate. Board chairwoman Dr. Kelly Coker said this is a very sensitive time for the school district.

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The workshop was an opportunity to discuss possible ways of bridging the gap between Dr. Diana Greene’s departure when she goes into “surplus” on June 5, because the board will need a superintendent present the next day on June 6 at its monthly meeting.

Coker said the idea of a short-term superintendent is “to get them situated. ... Right now given the situation that we are in and have somebody that can lead our district right now while we have those conversations as a board but also with our community.”

Watch: INVESTIGATES: Duval schools superintendent search

Board members gave their thoughts and recommendations on who could fill in as superintendent, and how. Some board members asked if the deputy superintendent could step in, or maybe any retired superintendents around the state who aren’t looking for a long-term job could help. Ultimately, the board will have another meeting to further discuss a short-term solution on Tuesday, May 23, and could then make a final decision.

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Coker said that the need for an acting superintendent to be in place to cover the district is of paramount importance saying, “The minute the close of school happens, we are focused on opening school and getting ready for our children to enter the first day of school, and we need a leader in place who can guide us through that time period. A lot of people think schools are quiet during the summer but it’s actually one of our busiest times.”

The board said it has immediate and long-term needs to fulfill, but once a superintendent is in place, members can focus on fixing other issues, which would make a long-term role more attractive to potential candidates.

Action News Jax will have updates from the board’s next meeting.