‘We have the next Superintendent of Duval Schools in this pool of six:’ Semi-finalists selected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval School Board has narrowed a list of 20 Superintendent candidates down to just six.


The selection of the slate of semifinalists has Duval School Board Chair Darryl Willie (District 4) starting to get excited about the selection of a new school superintendent.

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“I’m confident that we have the next Superintendent of Duval Schools in this pool of six,” said Willie.

Semi-finalists Dr. Christopher Bernier, Adam Taylor, Dr. Daniel Smith all have previous experience working as school superintendents.

Bernier, who worked in Lee County Florida, led a district closest in size to Duval out of those three candidates.

Dr. Cheryl Proctor and Luis Solano have both held assistant and deputy superintendent positions, both in districts with less than half the student population of Duval.

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

Finally, Dr. Josiah Philips is the only candidate without any superintendent experience, but he did serve as Chief Information Officer of Broward Schools in Florida, which is more than twice the size of Duval.

“Regardless of size, it’s folks who number one, care about student achievement, have been able to sort of maneuver and get inside of a district and really make a change and that’s what we saw,” said Willie.

Willie noted on top of professional experience, it’s promising to see four candidates including Dr. Bernier, Dr. Proctor, Solano and Dr. Philips with experience working in Florida schools.

RELATED: Duval County School Board locks in new deadline to pick a superintendent

“You want to see a candidate who does have Florida experience. You want to see someone who may have outside, and you have some who have both. Some who have been in Florida and have now moved outside and comeback. So, we have a good mix of candidates, I think, in the pool,” said Willie.

The next major step in the selection process will happen on May 7, when a list of between two and five finalists are chosen by the board.

Onsite interviews will be held on May 13 and 14, along will several public events where community members will have opportunities to hear from and meet the finalists.

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