Broward and Miami-Dade take different approaches with superintendent searches

WPLG Local 10 | By Hatzel Vela | January 11, 2022

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The school districts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are each looking for a new superintendent, but their processes differ.

On Tuesday, staff from the Broward district told Local 10 News thet they don’t yet have a list of candidates. They say the firm handling the search will eventually release the names.

School board member Debra Hixon prefers having a firm to handle the search because she feels it makes the process more objective and transparent.

“We need to be sure and show the public that we’re going through a process, that we didn’t hand-select someone based on some ideas that we didn’t share with anyone,” she said.

The president of the teachers’ union has already publicly pledged support for Broward’s interim superintendent Vickie Cartwright to get the job.

Cartwright has said she is interested in the permanent post.

“You’ve got to deal with nine different professional personalities and handle it with integrity and dignity and with grace and I think she is showing that,” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said.

Down in Miami-Dade, Wednesday is the deadline for applicants interested in the superintendent job.

“It’s my understanding that today they have seven in total,” said school board member Marta Perez, who has called the process a sham.

A week ago, the board voted to take applications for seven days for the fourth-largest school district in the country.

The controversial decision included what critics call questionable requirements, which some allege could mean the majority of the board already has someone in mind.

“Obviously they do or they wouldn’t have these requirements that are appalling,” Perez said.

The person must have experience as a classroom teacher, principal and administrator, a master’s degree, although a doctorate is preferred and they must understand South Florida’s diverse community and be knowledgeable of local student needs.

Perez said she can only think of 3 who could meet the requirements:

  • Valtena Brown, a retired deputy superintendent
  • Enid Weisman, the current mayor in Aventura and a lifelong educator in Miami-Dade
  • Jose Dotres, another district veteran who a month ago was honored by the board, just days after outgoing superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced his departure.

The district in Miami-Dade listed updated qualifications Tuesday that said candidates should have:

  • At a minimum, a master’s degree or higher; doctorate degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience as a classroom teacher: Three years of highly effective/effective public school classroom teaching experience.
  • Demonstrated experience as a school-site principal, and district-wide experience.
  • Seven years of progressively responsible public school administrative experience.
  • An understanding of our diverse community and knowledge of the needs of our students, including English Language Learners, Exceptional Education Students, low-performing students, our most gifted and talented students, and our students who come from economically deprived neighborhoods.
  • Knowledge in administration, supervision, curriculum, business affairs, personnel management, and program evaluation.
  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people.
  • Knowledge of and experience with industry-standard computer applications.

Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent and their resume to the School Board Attorney by no later than5 p.m., Wednesday, January 12, 2022, via e-mail to  and by U.S. mail to Walter J. Harvey, School Board Attorney, School Board Attorney’s Office, 1450 N.E. 2 Avenue, Suite 430, Miami Florida, 33132.

Members of the public who wish to provide comments regarding the qualifications required for the Superintendent of Schools may submit their comments in writing at: and/or leave a recorded message at 305-731-2377. Public comments will be reviewed and made part of the record. Please note that all comments received will be considered public records.

For more information, visit or contact the School Board Attorney’s Office at 305-995-1304

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