‘A very qualified pool:’ DCPS Superintendent search yields at least 16 candidates

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The application period for Duval County Public School’s search for a new superintendent wraps up at midnight Monday. So far, only six applicants have been listed on the district’s website.


The last effort to find a superintendent was scrapped after only ten candidates applied and only five of those applicants were deemed qualified.

While only six candidates have been posted online so far, there is some good news.

School board member Lori Hershey told Action News Jax ten applications came in over the weekend.

Those applications are still being processed and have not been posted online yet.

Of the six listed on DCPS’ website, only four of the applicants, Doctors Christoper Bernier, Corwin Robinson, Ronnie Dotson, and Sito Narcisse have previously served as superintendents for public school districts.

Candidate Dr. Sylvia Mitchell served as a superintendent for a Texas charter school and Dr. Carlos Perez served in multiple assistant superintendent roles throughout his career.

Hersey said she has high hopes for this latest round of applicants.

“I think it was probably surprising to the community when we hit the pause button in the fall, or earlier in the year, but I believe that was a good decision,” said Hershey.

Of the four candidates who have held public school superintendent positions, two reportedly left those positions under controversial circumstances.

WBBJ reported a local city council member claimed Robinson was fired from his job as superintendent of Lake County Public Schools due to, “budget issues, lack of professionalism, and low employee morale”.

WBRZ reported Narcisse quit his job as superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools amid a bus shortage, bus driver strike, teacher shortage, and budget crisis.

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Hershey said she can’t speak to what is or is not something that may disqualify a candidate from consideration, as that will be something the board has to determine as a body.

“The board will look at each candidate on an individual basis and weigh the pros and cons of both the interview and the application as well as references,” said Hershey.

Hershey added with ten additional applications coming through over the weekend, the field this time around is much more promising than the one produced by the search last fall.

“I think it’s a very qualified pool and I do believe the board has an opportunity to make a selection within this pool,” said Hershey.

The board will discuss semifinalists on April 23rd, and finalists will meet for on-site interviews on May 13th and 14th.

Hershey said the goal is to have the new superintendent in place by June 1st.

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