27 aim for top school job in Sarasota County

As the application period for Sarasota County Schools superintendent drew to a close Friday afternoon, the 24 applications applied for the open position.

Among those are two familiar faces to the Sarasota County Public Schools. Applicant Stephen Covert  has been principal of Pine View School for seven years. Allison Stewart Foster, principal of Phillippi Shores International Baccalaureate School in Sarasota.

The field also includes three employees from the Palm Beach County School District on Florida’s East Coast.

Meanwhile, in preparation to begin the selection process, the school district’s brand new Citizen’s Advisory Committee — tasked with reviewing the applications — met for the first time via Zoom conference Thursday evening. The 25 volunteer committee members were given an overview of how the process will unfold and what will be expected of them.

Each Sarasota County School Board member selected five members to sit on the committee. The members will review applications to ensure they have the qualifications the board said they were looking for in a superintendent.

“It is clear from the caliber of members of the Community Advisory Committee that Sarasota values its public schools and is willing to put forth time and effort to help plan for their future,” said Andrea Messina, a former Charlotte County School Board member and executive director of the Florida School Board Association. The district tapped FSBA to assist in the search for superintendent.

The committee will meet Tuesday evening via Zoom, and the following Tuesday to narrow down the pool of applicants to pass on its semi-finalists to the School Board on June 17.

At a special board meeting held June 23, board will select finalists for the superintendent position. Interviews will take place from June 30 through July 2. The superintendent will be selected at the board meeting on July 14 and contract developments will begin.

“I am confident the board and community will be impressed with the pool of qualified professionals who are willing to step forward and offer their skills and experience to the Sarasota community to considered as the next Superintendent,” said Messina.

Here are the applicants:

• Dr. Tracy Lorey, superintendent of Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools in Jasper, Indiana, since 2012

• Craig Hockenberry, superintendent of Three Rivers Local School District in Hamilton County, Ohio, since 2015

• Dr. Sonia Francis-Rolle, executive director/community consultant for Velaire Washington Enterprises International Inc., in Fairburn, Georgia, since 2006

• Carl Moore, chemistry/AP teacher in Daytona Beach since 2018

• William Robbins, superintendent of Kershaw County School District in Camden, South Carolina, since 2018

• Dr. Jerry Gibson, superintendent of Marshall Independent School District in Marshall, Texas, since 2016

• Dr. Brennan Asplen, deputy superintendent of St. Johns County School District in St. Augustine, Florida, since 2015

• Teresa Price, assistant superintendent of Germantown Municipal School District in Germantown, Tennessee, since 2019

• Dr. Raymond Bryant Jr., consultant for Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement in Duluth, Georgia, since 2019

• Dr. Ian Roberts, executive leadership coach for Lively Paradox LLC, since 2014

• Dr. Peter B. Licata, regional superintendent of the school district of Palm Beach County, since July 2019

• Leigh Ann McCray, chief executive officer/independent consultant of EdBusiness Solutions Inc. in Uhrichsville, Ohio, since 2013

• Dr. Andrei E. Ghelman, director of school transformation for the Lee County School District since 2018

• Dr. Monica Henson, deputy superintendent of schools for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice in Decatur, Georgia, from Nov. 2019 to March 2020

• Greg S. Shull, director of communications and public relations for Cleveland County Schools in Shelby, North Carolina, since March 2010

• Dominic A. DePatsy, superintendent of schools for Saco School Department in Saco, Maine, since March 2015

• Adam M. Taylor, superintendent in Vermont, since 2018

• Dr. Peri-Anne Chobot, president/head of school of Emerson Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., since 2018

• Dr. Brian T. Binggeli, superintendent of Plano School District in Plano, Texas, from 2015 to 2018

• Dr. Allison Stewart Foster, principal of Phillippi Shores Elementary School in Sarasota, since 2008

• John E. Hunter, superintendent of Union Township School Corporation in Valparaiso, Indiana, since 2005

• Keith R. Oswald, deputy superintendent chief of schools at Palm Beach County School District, since 2018

• Dr. Stephen P. Covert, principal of Pine View School since 2013 and adjunct professor at the University of South Florida since 2016.

• Dr. Robert E. Schiller of Stuart, Florida, and most recently interim superintendent of schools in Falls Church, Virginia.

• Dr. Gonzalo S. La Cava, chief of human resources for Palm Beach County Schools since 2016.

• Keith C. Rittel, superintendent of Provo City Schools in Utah since 2012.

• Jerome M. Puyau, former superintendent of the Vermilion Parish Schools from 2013-2019, where he was an employee since 1991 and serves as consultant to the superintendent.

• Dr. Vincent F. Cotter, former superintendent of schools in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania from 2000-2011, and co-founder of Exemplary Schools Organization in Bradenton since 2014.

Information regarding the timeline and the applicants can be viewed at sarasotacountyschools.net.

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