DeLand, FL - Though the search for a new Volusia County School Superintendent is intended to involve the community, there's one part of the community that feels they are being left out. Elizabeth Albert, President of Volusia United Educators, said the almost 8,000 employees in the union, which includes teachers, office staff and paraprofessionals, are not being asked for their input.
Albert says they are asking for 'a direct communication mechanism to speak to our elected board members to share the issues, concerns and the desired qualities that we would like to see in the next Superintendent of Volusia County Schools.' She continued, 'We believe that as employees, as the education professionals that work with students every single day, that we deserve the opportunity to speak to the five people who will be voting on the candidate and making the decision that's going to directly affect our livelihood for a significant amount of time moving forward.'
The greatest need, according to Albert, is finding someone the educational professionals can trust. Someone that we feel has an understanding and desire to make sure working conditions and learning conditions are the priority.'
The Volusia County School Board has both a community survey and a staff survey that can be found by clicking the link with this story at NewsDaytonaBeachdotcom
Albert is included on the 25-member Citizens Advisory Committee, who will review the applicants resumes. She does not work for Volusia County itself. She works for the employees union. There are no current teachers among the committee’s 25 members.
Four community forums are scheduled where attendees will be asked what qualities, experience, and skills they desire in our next superintendent. Albert is asking for something specifically geared towards the opinions of the school district's employees. The first forum on September 5 was canceled due to Hurricane Dorian. There's no word yet on whether it will be rescheduled.
The other three forums are scheduled on September 16 at DeLand High School, September 19 at Deltona City Hall and on September 23 at Holly Hill School. All forums are from 6 until 8 p.m. All forums will be facilitated by the Florida School Board Association, the agency that is conducting the search for the new superintendent.
The plan is to have interviews with the three to five finalists on November 6th, 7th, and 8th. A reception is scheduled at the Sanborn Center in DeLand on November 7th. The public is invited to meet the candidates. The School Board expects to make their final decision before the Thanksgiving holiday and have the new Superintendent in place the first week of January 2020.