Avossa accepts Florida job. Fulton now in market for new school chief

Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa is leaving Georgia and Fulton Schools to become the new school chief for Palm Beach County Schools.

The 43-year-old educator was in West Palm today where the school board announced his selection. He had been the favored candidate.

From Fulton Schools this afternoon:

The Fulton County Board of Education congratulates Dr. Robert Avossa on being named the superintendent for the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida. We appreciate his willingness to keep us informed throughout the selection process, and believe that our colleagues on the Palm Beach County Board of Education see the same leadership qualities that have made him so successful in Fulton County.

Meanwhile, we are confident that our careful planning will ensure a smooth leadership transition for our school district. We have a solid strategic plan, excellent staff and highly capable leaders who will keep our district moving forward. The Board is confident that when the time comes to choose a successor, we will hire someone well suited to complete the work that has been started in our current strategic plan and to address the future needs of Fulton County Schools.

We wish Dr. Avossa and his family the best.  He has led Fulton County Schools to accomplish great things during his tenure. While we’re in the midst of our five-year strategic plan, Dr. Avossa has built a framework that will successfully transition a new leader to continue the work of the Board. When the Board of Education hired Dr. Avossa four years ago, we were just embarking on our journey to become a charter system. He brought his knowledge, philosophy, energy and passion to his role as superintendent, and the children of Fulton County Schools were the beneficiaries of his tireless efforts.

Dr. Robert Avossa

Credit: Maureen Downey

Dr. Robert Avossa
Dr. Robert Avossa

Credit: Maureen Downey

Credit: Maureen Downey

Our parents, community members and all stakeholders can rest assured that a succession plan is in place. There are excellent people in our own Fulton County School System to potentially serve in the interim.  ​

And here is what Palm Beach County Schools said:

The School Board of Palm Beach County has unanimously selected Dr. Robert Avossa  to serve as Palm Beach County's next superintendent.

“We strongly believe that Dr. Avossa is the candidate to successfully lead our district in building upon our strengths and help us overcome the challenges that school districts face today,” said School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw.

The School Board selected Avossa as superintendent and authorized contract negotiations after extensive interviews with Dr. Avossa, Dr. Desmond Blackburn and Dr. Jesus Jara. The Board repeatedly commented that all three candidates were “super stars,” but ultimately selected Dr. Avossa unanimously without debate.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join a great school system,” Avossa said. “In many ways, this is a homecoming. I grew up in and graduated from Brevard County schools and many of my family still lives in Florida.”

The Superintendent Search began in January after current Superintendent E. Wayne Gent announced in January that he would not seek to renew his contract. The Board selected the search firm of Ray & Associates to conduct a national search and recruit candidates on the district’s behalf, with the goal of naming a new superintendent this month.

The search included a series of public forums and an online survey that gave the community an opportunity to share their ideal qualities and characteristics for the next superintendent of schools. Ray and Associates used that input to help recruit candidates that fit the profile.

“This has been a comprehensive, inclusive and open process to find our next superintendent,” said School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw. “We had an impressive group of candidates, but the board unanimously agreed that Dr. Avossa presents the best vision for the district going forward. We look forward to working with Dr. Avossa on the terms of his contract and beginning his work with the district.”

Once a contract is reached, Avossa will be the 25th Superintendent for the School District of Palm Beach County.

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