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Pinellas County School Board starts superintendent replacement process, asks for community input

Pinellas County back to school information
Posted at 7:07 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 07:19:49-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County School Board is having a workshop on Tuesday where board members will be discussing the characteristics they’re looking for in the next superintendent.

They’ll be trying to nail that down as the school district goes out to the community and contacts administrators and instructional staff to get their input too.

Once they have all of the information, the board will compile the data and see where to go from there.

Leaders stress right now is the time for the community to share their opinions.

“We really do want to hear from the community. We really do want to hear from our parents. We want to hear from our instructional staff and our support staff,” said school board member Carol Cook.

The school district will hold three community forums when they’ll be asking people questions.

“What are some good things going in Pinellas County? What are some of the challenges that we may be facing? Then also, what are some of the characteristics of a superintendent that they believe are important for Pinellas County?” said Cook.

Everyone is invited to attend one of the community forums, either in person or online.

  • February 23: Pinellas Park High School, 6 p.m.
  • February 24: Countryside High School, 6 p.m.
  • February 28: St. Petersburg High School, 6 p.m.

“Right now is the time for people to give us input… We’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” said Cook.

Board members are also working toward determining the minimum and preferred qualifications they’re looking for in a new leader.

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“Our biggest thing is we want to be very transparent in this whole search and make sure the community knows what we’re doing as we go along and we want to hear from them. This is going to be their superintendent as well. But we also realize this is the most important decision that the school board makes and we’re not taking that lightly,” said Cook.

Here’s an overview of the timeline for the search:

  • March 14: the application period begins
  • April 20: semi-finalists selected
  • May 3: finalists identified
  • May 10, 11, 12: on-site interviews for finalists
  • May 17: Select superintendent

“Looking at our target of May 17 being able to have the final decision made. The contract would come to us at that point. We’re trying to get it finished before we go into graduation season so we can all celebrate together,” said Cook.

The school board is planning to open a new community input survey on Tuesday once the questions get approved at Tuesday’s workshop. It will be available on the school board's website. The survey will close on February 28.

The workshop starts at 8 a.m.