Candidates begin vying for Brevard Public Schools superintendent role following community input

Spectrum News 13 | By Will Robinson-Smith | March 9, 2023

VIERA, Fla. — The position of Brevard Public Schools educational leader remains up for grabs, but after several avenues of community input, some possibilities are starting to emerge.

What You Need To Know

Roughly 5,000 Brevard County residents weighed in on the public survey issued in February
To date, four applicants have submitted their resumés for the job
The BPS board of education aims to select its next permanent superintendent by May 2

As of the first school board meeting of March, four candidates submitted their resumes for consideration in the school board’s pursuit of a new superintendent. The current list of candidates includes:

  • Dr. Nancy Bitner, Interim Director of Gifted Services, Springfield Public Schools (Illinois)
  • Dr. Keith Miles Jr., Superintendent, Bridgeton Public Schools (New Jersey)
  • Dr. Jesse Jackson, Sr. Director — Education Prep, Florida Dept. of Education (Florida)
  • Dr. Jason Spencer, Sr. Director Safety Services, Cincinnati Public Schools (Ohio)

All four, and potentially more, are vying for an up to a three-year contract with a salary range of $225,000 to $300,000, plus benefits and other incentives. The school board is requiring at least a master’s degree and 10 years or more “of successful leadership/administrative experience.”

For preferences, they list a doctorate degree and “classroom, school-based, and district-level educational experience.”

The published advertisement comes after the Florida School Boards Association guided the district through several methods of gathering public input. It was a process that Palm Bay parent, Greg Ross, said was great to see.

He said it is evidence that the interim superintendent, Dr. Robert Schiller, is doing a good job in his current role.

“Dr. Schiller’s really made them slow down and follow a process that ensures there’s community input, there’s student input, there’s teacher input on this and I feel really good about that process,” Ross said.

The board approved a list of 16 qualities they want to see from the superintendent candidates. They were compiled as a result of the community input, including an online, community survey that garnered nearly 5,000 responses, roughly 72 percent of which fully completed the survey.

It asked respondents to rate their most important attributes in the areas of academic excellence, exceptional workforce, community connection, operational sustainability and personal leadership qualities.

In the last category, those who responded said that they wanted the following the most of the possible answers:

  • 49.9% — Builds trust and respect, and serves as a role model for staff, students and the community
  • 42.7% — Leads with humility, caring, and servant-leader attitude.
  • 40.8% — Inspires and builds trust and models high standards of integrity and ethics.

According to the search timeline, applications will be accepted through the end of the month, after which the board will identify their semi-finalists and send them questions to answer on April 4, select finalists on April 18 and conduct on-site interviews on April 27 and April 28.

The selection date for the next superintendent of Brevard Public Schools will be May 2, just over five months after the school board voted 3-2 to remove the previous superintendent, Dr. Mark Mullins.

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