Hillsborough school leader Terry Connor to be Sarasota superintendent

Connor came to Hillsborough County with Superintendent Addison Davis in 2020.

Tampa Bay Times | By Marlene Sokol | June 14, 2023

Terry Connor, one of the Hillsborough County School District’s top administrators, will leave to take a position as superintendent of Sarasota County Schools.

He will replace Brennan Asplen, who was forced out of his position in December by the Sarasota school board’s newly seated conservative majority.

On Wednesday, the Sarasota board’s initial vote to hire Connor was 3-2, followed by a unanimous vote to start contract negotiations. His salary has not been determined but is not expected to exceed $300,000.

In recent weeks, Connor, 41, was also a finalist for the superintendent position in Osceola County.

Connor holds a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from the University of North Florida and a master of administration and management from Nova Southeastern University, the Sarasota district said.

He forged his career as an educator in Duval and Clay counties before joining the Hillsborough district in 2020 alongside Superintendent Addison Davis.

Connor and Davis arrived in Hillsborough as schools were closing due to COVID-19. Connor was essential in developing the district’s distance learning plans and responding to students’ learning losses as they returned to school buildings in late 2020 and 2021.

In a news release Wednesday, Davis said, “I am thrilled for Sarasota County. The school board could not have selected a better leader. Terry has contributed significantly to our work here in Hillsborough County and has helped create conditions that allow our students and teachers to make great strides.”

Connor, in a news release in Sarasota, said, “I am grateful to the board for choosing me to lead the schools in this wonderful community. I share the district’s vision for keeping learning at the center of everything we do and have seen the great things that can happen when educators and families are committed to doing that.”

Sarasota’s school district is about one-fifth the size of Hillsborough’s, with 45,000 students. It has had an A grade from the state since 2004.

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