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Jacob Oliva All But Appointed School District’s Next Superintendent as NAACP Objects

| August 21, 2013

Jacob Oliva gets the school board's nod. (© FlaglerLive)

Jacob Oliva gets the school board’s nod. (© FlaglerLive)

Absent an unexpected cosmic realignment, Jacob Oliva will succeed Janet Valentine as Flagler County School Superintendent next July 1.

The school board made that clear Tuesday evening as it decided to forego a state or national search but still go through the formality of posting the position locally, and urging Oliva to reach out to community, civic and business groups over the next few months to pave the groundwork for his appointment. The board may also hold a public forum or two took seek community input on the choice and give Oliva a chance to more directly introduce himself, though as a former principal at Wadsworth and Flagler Palm Coast High School and the assistant superintendent for the past year, he’s familiar to many.

“I’ve always tried to put myself in a position where I can grow and learn,” Oliva, 39, said Wednesday. He’s been seeing the larger picture of the district as assistant superintendent. “Moving into the superintendent’s seat would be a natural progression for me.”

The Flagler County Chapter of the NAACP did not welcome the board’s latest move.

“I think it’s cronyism at its most obvious and I think they’re doing a tremendous disservice to the county’s children by not initiating a national search,” Linda Haywood, the chapter president, said.  “The problems that need to be fixed are not going to be fixed if they haven’t been fixed already with the same people in place: Low test scores, the school-to-juvenile justice pipeline, lack of resources for students who are at risk either academically or otherwise. We don’t have enough guidance counselors, we don’t have enough psychologists.”

Haywood said she is not opposed to Oliva’s appointment per se. “I’m not saying that he may not be a proper fit, but I think we should at least have some alternatives, we should measure his ability against that of other candidates before we just slide somebody in,” She said.

By advertising the position locally, the board may yet technically claim that it will have done just that even as it abides by its succession plan—a plan Haywood dsaid did not work when former Superintendent Bill Delbrugge handed off the reins to Janet Valentine.

“Absolutely not,” Haywood said. “Look at the failures that have gone on. Look at the reason we filed the complaint with the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Last year the center filed a lawsuit citing Flagler among four school districts in Florida where black students are disproportionately punished and where layoffs disproportionately affect black employees in a district where blacks are already woefully under-represented in teaching and administrative ranks, and where some 68 percent of black students are failing.

Oliva said he grew up in an environment that compelled diversity, and knows its importance. He is himself half-Hispanic as the son of a Cuban-born father, and grew up in Miami in a bi-cultural household. “Diversity is what we want to embrace,” he said. “I would love an opportunity to work with local civic organizations to find out their input on what we can do better.” One of his goals: to start early learning centers, or VPKs, in each of the district’s elementary schools as one strategy for early intervention that pay off in the long run, lowering the incidence of at-risk youths. “Those notions are being reinforced by the community. We need to embrace that,” he said.

He wants a more diverse base of employees, too. “Ideally you want to see your staff mirror the demographics. Students need  role models,” Oliva said. “The more diverse our staff is the more diverse our programs are the more opportunity for our kids to make connections. It’s going to pay off with more kids graduating from high schools, which is our goal.”

At his age, with at least a quarter century of professional life ahead of him and achieving before middle age what to most would be a career’s capstone, his natural progression begs a natural question: how long would he be willing to remain superintendent? And in fact, Oliva’s ultimate goal is to teach administrative leadership at the college or university level.

But that’s not for many  years yet: his daughter just started fourth grade at Bunnell Elementary, his son is starting kindergarten next year. “My hope is to see them through a great school district,” Oliva said. “I’m grounded in Flagler County.  This is where I want to be and I think we’re doing great things here.”

The school board did away with a state or national search for two reasons: lack of money, and Oliva’s place in a succession plan designed to help the board avoid searching far afield for a superintendent.

During budget-cutting rounds the board ended its membership to the state school board association to save several thousand dollars. Getting the association to help in recruiting a new superintendent would have required rejoining ($9,000), and paying additional fee for the recruiting service (another $9,000) and advertising costs, for a total of $20,000 to $22,000. The association would have had a workshop with the board on Oct. 1 before seeking community input through one or two public hearings. The new superintendent would have been announced by March 31.

“I just don’t want us to spend the money and go through the process if—I mean the cream always rises to the top anyway, it doesn’t matter,” board member Colleen Conklin said, referring to Oliva.

Board member Sue Dickinson said the costs would rise even more once interviewing’s travel costs arec added in, plus moving costs. “So keeping that in mind it’s not going to be a simple $25,000,” Dickinson said. “We did not budget to spend this money, and I’m not saying we need to go inside just because of the money or the dollar value behind it, but if we choose to go that road against our own plan, then this money has to come out of somebody’s budget, because we don’t have it. That would be a big concern of mine because we’re going to hit the classroom again. We’re not talking just pennies. In addition to that if you’re going to move somebody here you’ve got to pay their moving expenses, you’ve got to go that whole road that we’ve been down before. Our last two superintendents were appointed from within. I personally don’t see why we can’t do that again.”

Board Chairman Andy Dance seemed to agree, but he just as clearly didn’t want to make a politically tone-deaf decision, either.

“Personally I think we’ve got the correct candidate in line, but there is a bigger picture, and that is, getting the local community input on the decision as well, hearing from the community,” Dance said. “A lot of people—and I think if the decision is just to do our own advertisement, I would be OK in opening up the advertisement and having some public hearings so that we gain input from the community. But it would take an outside rock star to change my opinion. Sometimes you never know who’s going to apply, but if Mr. Oliva wasn’t in our district and was somewhere else, and you looked at the qualifications, you looked at the advances the district has made and were able to interview him, you would say this is the guy we’ve been waiting for. We need to bring him on. Sometimes you don’t catch that when he’s right underneath your thumb, and sometimes the community doesn’t know what they have, so I think the process kind of opens that up as well.”

It was then that Board Attorney Kristy Gavin recommended a community forum.

“It’s beneficial to have a community dialogue and community input on what characteristics the community would like to see in a superintendent, and then maybe this conversation moves forward,” Conklin said. “We know many of the characteristics that the assistant superintendent has. We know the abilities and capabilities and things that he’s done. We’ve had those experiences, many other folks have not. But there may be characteristics in the community, qualities that folks are looking for, and I’m not going to pretend to know what they may be, but I think it’s beneficial to get that input. We’re not in a rush right now.”

“If I’m going to do an open public forum,” Dickinson said, “I just want to hear what the qualities are that the people are looking for. I don’t want somebody coming up here and say we don’t want this person, we don’t want that person. I have no problem listening for qualities, but as long as we keep names out of it, and we don’t allow anything to that effect. Guys, remember: this is the only person that we hire. And we’ve been elected to hire this person as part of our job. The public has put their trust in us to do our jobs, and it’s our job, yes. Listen to what the qualities are they looking for, but the end decision is our decision.”

Over the next two months, Oliva will take the lead in talking about the state of education in the county, and the board will take up the issue again in November. But it’s not looking to formally start contract negotiations with Oliva until spring. Valentine’s last day is June 30. Until then, Oliva, whose office is connected to Valentine’s at the district office, will gradually assume more responsibilities, mirroring the previous superintendent transition.

 

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42 Responses for “Jacob Oliva All But Appointed School District’s Next Superintendent as NAACP Objects”

  1. O.M.G. says:

    I think the NAACP should be looking into their own community and work to provide a stronger family unit. NOT DEPEND on Public schools to raise their children. The Pipeline from School to the juvenile justice is a direct result of the breakdown of the family unit..

    If the NAACP was truly concerned about the advancement of colored people. It would quit the race baiting and start looking inwards. It is not anyone else’s fault for the deterioration of the family unit.. That is something that is taught at home and church.. Take God out of your life and being responsible for our own actions. look what you get.. There are a lot of famous Black people who speak the same way as I just wrote. Bill Cosby comes to mind.

    It is now time for you to start looking inward at your problem and quit blaming the white man. After all it was your own ancestors who sold your ancestors into slavery. The white man was not the cause of that. Again look deep into your own community and quit looking for Government handouts and to blame everyone else for the problems of our race.
    .

    • Nancy N. says:

      and there it is folks…the modern softer, gentler racism. The white cloaks have been replaced by the cloak of “family values” and christian fundamentalism.

      You know why the school to prison pipeline exists? Because if you get in trouble and you’re the “right” color, your parents get called. If you get in trouble and you’re the “wrong” color, the cops get called. Different consequences for different people. That’s what the SPLC lawsuit was all about!

      “Take God out of your life and being responsible for our own actions, look what you get.” Forget race, I find that offensive as an atheist. I am perfectly capable of living a moral life without the threat of retribution from some invisible man in the sky to make me do so, thank you.

      Hmm, the white man didn’t cause slavery because it was blacks who sold other blacks into slavery? Funny, last time I shopped it took two parties to conduct a sales transaction – a buyer and a seller. The buyer in a transaction doesn’t escape moral responsibility just because the seller bears some as well. I bet you have no problem with johns and drug buyers being prosecuted, so why are you giving a pass to people for buying other PEOPLE? (Never mind, I already know the answer to that – see paragraph 1.)

      Your blame the victim rhetoric is truly stunning…do you tell rape victims they shouldn’t have been wearing that dress, too?

    • A.S.F. says:

      @O.M.G.–“Race-baiting”=The new Conservative code phrase for “we don’t want to take responsibility for anything we don’t like to look at so we’ll throw it back at you and say that Black people are trying to avoid responsibility for themselves by making everyone else feel bad for no reason.” Blaming Black people for their own historical enslavement is as outrageous and ignorant as your trying to make it sound like White People have no responsibility for racism in this country. We ALL have a responsibility, no matter what the color of our skin, to try to make things better. Arguments like your’s are insulting and do nothing to promote understanding and further this effort. By the way, I used to work in Social Services, for many years, and there were plenty of White people taking (as you call them) “government handouts” and there still are. Why don’t you start taking a look at YOUR own community!

  2. Frances says:

    Jacob Oliva would be a great superintendent! I wish him the best of luck and hope the School Board will appoint him after Janet Valentine leaves. He knows the county and is invested in its educational system. He is a very dedicated person and the county would be fortunate to have him as its Superintendent.

  3. LG says:

    I have to agree with the NAACP – I think that spending the money for a national search is the best plan. Things are not going to improve unless we have new people with new ideas. FYI – in a system where minorities are woefully under represented, it might be best to avoid such idioms as “the cream always rises to the top.”

  4. Bill says:

    Will he start with Valentines pay or will save some and start him at a lower pay???

  5. Joe Joe says:

    No reason for a national search when the district can mold and hire from within…

  6. Mr.mondex says:

    I like that word cronyism it’s synopsis in this county anymore !!!! I mean geeez instead of doing politics the normal way the rest of the 48 states does in situations of this nature .lets just shoe in the the fastest easiest choice of a replacement for ,in this case school district superintendent !! Wow this county never ceases to amaze ! The NAACP has a right to gripe here .well hey let’s just get the sharpton/ Jesse Jackson entourage involved here. Gee thay haven’t had much on the plate recently since the George Zimmerman debacle .right anyway the board just wants a fast easy well known name to take over a very highly paid ( over paid actually ) position.i personally feel mike Judd deserves the position what the heck.he’s considered a good ole boy as to Flagler county standards besides he’s a full grown US of A white American with family ties that go way back into the founding fathers of this fine community ,that will give the NAACP even more reason to get on the band wagon,and play god bless America at the swearing in ceremonies and of course cry the blues why a minority was not even considered for this prestigious ( over paid ) position.

  7. Seminole Pride says:

    I still believe it takes the parents of the school children to raise and discipline their own children, so please NAACP stop asking the school system to raise the county’s black children.

  8. don't buy from bailed out says:

    Give me a break !!! He is US !!! Flagler County School Administration!! !Been there – done that. This man is soooo qualified that it seems stupid to look nation wide, even state wide at a cost of thousands of $ to end up hiring him.

    The Kids know him. The faculty knows him. The parents know him The local government knows him.
    The “players in the county” know him. The School Board knows him !!!!

    Qualified – yes ! experienced – yes ! Educational level appropriate for the job – yes

    Connections in the FL edu crowd – yes. What else do you want ??? A decision based on Race is certain to continue the downward spiral of — There are 10 of us. 8 Hispanics and 2 Caucasians. THEREFORE you must be1 8/th Hispanic – TOTAL INSANITY

    Let’s not let this become another racial catastrophie. Life is what it is. This man has earned the right to “be at the head of the line” Save the money (for a change) and do the right thing”

  9. rhweir says:

    I’m retired so, frankly, I don’t care. I went thru all this up north when my kids were in school. I wouldn’t be here if I still had children of school age due to low paying jobs, lack of opportunity and inferior schools. But, I’m retired so, frankly, I don’t care.

    • Mike says:

      @ rhweir, that is sad, just because you no longer need a public service does not mean you should not care about it. The school system is one of the most important things in the public sector, with the type of poor performance our district provides we all need to care. I for one pulled my kids out of the Flagler school system, I pay for private school, but not everyone has that choice. I understand you did this already, but your tax dollars pay for future leaders’ education, that may affect you, your children and your grand children down the road. It is our civic duty to ensure we get the most from our tax dollars, we need to hold those in charge accountable, and we let government run muck for years and look where that has landed America.

    • Joe Joe says:

      Having good schools in your community directly effects home values and such. So you SHOULD care, people like you give retired people a bad name…

    • A.S.F. says:

      @rhweir–That’s so far-seeing of you, not to mention benevolent. Who do you think is going to be paying the bulk of the costs for your Social Security and Medicare (maybe not?)

  10. FPC Grad Class of 2010 says:

    I think that Jacob Oliva is the best option. He has been part of the district for many years and knows the ins and outs and really cares about the education of the students.

  11. m&m says:

    NAACP complain about all white people who better themselves.,

  12. Pat says:

    I don’t think blacks are minorities anymore. Just appoint a good person and why spend money searching all over the place what’s wrong with right here? spending money unnecessarily is really wrong. Jacob Olivia meets all the qualifications what else are you looking for ? is he the wrong skin color? wouldn’t that be racist?

    • Nancy N. says:

      “I don’t think blacks are minorities anymore.” —Spoken like a middle class white person who probably doesn’t actually know any.

      • standup says:

        “Spoken like a middle class white person”……..Yeah Nancy, spoken like a disgruntled, jealous, classless, racist black person with a grudge against all other races/ethnicities not African American.

        So tired of hearing the NAACP rant and rave and complain about the same thing over and over again. It doesn’t matter what race you are, if you act like a disobedient child you get treated like one. Not because of your color but because of your BEHAVIOR. Give it up already its 2013. Racism only continues in this country and in this world because of people who say and think the way Nancy N. and those counterparts that have commented here on FlaglerLive.com associated with the NAACP. Of all the different ethnicities, it seems to me that African Americans have the most amount civic organizations, grants, and help from the government than any other. In fact, name one Caucasian only supported civic organization or grant for educational purposes, or program that is only dedicated to helping those of that specific race. You’ll find hundreds for African Americans. None for Caucasian. You should be thankful and stop being one of those who help racism continue.

        • Nancy N. says:

          You know that old saying about what they say happens when you assume?

          I find it fascinating that you think that the only people who think racism exists are minorities.

          Plenty of people here know who I am and they can tell you – I am not only “white” but am so freaking deathly pale that I need SPF 100 to step outside my front door without looking like a beet for a week, and frequently hear things like “dang girl you need a tan!” The glare from my lily white rear end would have you reaching for sunglasses.

          So I may need a tan but what I do have is a social conscience. I’m aware of what goes on around me in the world. Especially in the last few years my family has been in a situation where we’ve had a lot of contact with people different than us, and seen their different treatment by people who have power over them. It has been, to say the least, enlightening.

        • A.S.F. says:

          I love it when Southern bigots tell African Americans that they should “get over” their feelings about racism in American when they, themselves, can’t seem to get over the fact that they lost the Civil War!

  13. Outsider says:

    One of the reasons this country is the way it is because the diversity-at-any-cost crowd looks for someone with a particular shade of skin instead of the most qualified person for the job, not that any specific example comes to mind. Hire from within and we’ll have someone who can start on day one. I guess you can say he actually started years ago.

  14. SavetheChildren says:

    Take your kids out of Flagler County Schools….No..Take them out of Florida as fast as you can…RUN< RUN<RUN…GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN !!!!

  15. music maker says:

    If you are looking for NEW ideas, you will find them with Jacob Oliva. He is forwarding thinking and he is always searching for new ways of doing things. He is not one of those administrators that just listen to a select group of people. He studies our environments, test scores and is not afraid to get his hands dirty finding out what works. Teachers appreciate him because he listens. Parents appreciate for the same reason. He is constantly working, inspiring veteran teachers to get up and get at it!

  16. w.ryan says:

    Directed to O.M.G. – Leave it to the ones that have no understanding of the Black Community and the concerns that the NAACP has raised with regard to the School to Prison Pipeline. It’s real! Corporate America has invested a heap of cash to build more prisons in anticipation and knowledge that racism is alive and kicking. Judging from your statement it’s pretty close. Studies are done yearly to figure the numbers for inmates of the future from 1st grade. Where is the cash for reverse polarity. Bill Cosby is a comedian. He made me laugh at one point. Clarence Thomas is also Black. What has he done? Cosby should stay telling jokes and stop fueling your rhetoric. He is not an authority on the Black Community and because he speaks what you think you see or have heard, you lift him up. The amount of black men in jail is a result of decades of laws that paid no respect to the Black man and their families but instead used marijuana and third strike prison traps to wreck the Black community. Privatization has also reared it’s head in education. Even before that the black family unit was assailed by years of slavery. Let’s not forget Jim Crow! The Prison Industrial Complex is supported by rhetoric like yours and by people like you…save it! Ya…and I do know you! Know thyself! Now, our community is worth adjusting your thoughts to mending our fences and start thinking as family and I don’t mean Black-sheep. As for Jacob Oliva, he is a good person. I also see the NAACP’s points. But families love him and he seems in tuned to the Black Community also. Can he be another Bill DelBrugge, we don’t know. I sometimes like to see what a person can accomplish from within. There are no guarantees by looking elsewhere. Will he be open to thinking outside the box is the question!

  17. Let us vote on it says:

    Sue Dickinson needs to go! She is so cocky, and unprofessional. She is part to blame for the $100,000 that was spent to have a special election in June; all because she and others don’t know how to live within a budget.

    Put electing our Superintendent back on the ballot in 2014 and let us decide!

  18. Bethechange says:

    Music maker you’ve hit the nail on the head. Meet the man and one quality stands out: he listens more than he talks. That combined with school- aged children of his own, plus a vision for the district, based in sound logic (see his presentation on the district homepage, from Opening Day), one can at least imagine he’d be a front runner, even if a state or national search was a fiscally feasible option.

  19. third wheel says:

    “Haywood said she is not opposed to Oliva’s appointment per se. “I’m not saying that he may not be a proper fit, but I think we should at least have some alternatives, we should measure his ability against that of other candidates before we just slide somebody in,” She said.”

    Code-speak for “the school district should hire a black person”. African Americans are disproportionately employed in government jobs, and that in itself is discriminatory towards all other races. (Nearly 21 percent of the nation’s working black adults hold government jobs, as compared to some 17 percent of white workers and 15 percent of Latinos. Public agencies are the single largest employer for black men, and the second most common for black women. Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/07/black-unemployment-government-jobs_n_872168.html)

    Hispanics remain underrepresented in the state and local public sectors and overrepresented in the private sector. […] the Hispanic share of employment in state and local government and in the private sector has steadily kept pace with Hispanics’ growth in overall employment since 1989. […]Since the start of the recession, the real median wage of Hispanic employees in state and local public-sector jobs has declined by 5.2 percent, compared with a decline of 1.9 percent for African Americans, 0.7 percent for whites, and 2.2 percent for all other races (Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group 2007–2011). (http://www.epi.org/publication/bp339-public-sector-jobs-crisis/)

    Mr Oliva is highly qualified for the position and it appears he holds minority status too. He is not the problem. Don’t make him the scapegoat! Spending valuable resources for the sake of nonsensical appearances in just plain stupid.

    Much ado about nothing…move it along

  20. Sherry Epley says:

    The whole idea of “succession planning” is some times “code” for keeping “new” (read minority or Yankee here, as you like) people and ideas out. . . when the baton is merely handed from one to the other. OK, the reasonable question here is whether a person who has been groomed for the job will not come with a big bag of backs that need to be scratched.

    Just one additional ridiculous decision made by a person in this position, could more than eat up the costs associated with doing a “legitimate” search for the BEST professional for the job. Consider the possibility that, with the track record of Ms Valentine in mind, now is not the time to be “penny wise and pound foolish” by selecting the “easiest” person to take over such an important and powerful position.

    Come on Flagler County School Administration. . . remember, a definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result. Open up the career opportunity to qualified candidates, create options for yourselves, and then if Mr. Oliva is determined to be the best person for the job, your appointment will not be seen as perpetuating the “good ole boys” network.

  21. Sherry Epley says:

    Regarding the comments here. . . Nancy, and ASF you are right on with your observations and reactions. The entrenched bigotry and discrimination by many of the same same people posting here. . . again, again is disgusting. Why not just “cut and paste” the expressions of your fear and hatred of yourselves, and of the human race, in general. . . save yourselves a little time.

    Those who are educated, open minded, positive, thoughtful, compassionate, caring human beings have heard it all before. . . and we’ll hear it all again. Yet, we will still continue to be even more educated, open minded, positive, thoughtful, compassionate, caring human beings. . . who by commenting are just trying to raise a little human consciousness.

    • Linda Sharpe Haywood says:

      I am not suggesting that the school board be pressured into hiring a minority superintendent. The objective in requesting a search is to find the most qualified candidate to lead our children to where they can compete with students in the national arena. Mr. Oliva may be qualified, but should be measured against others who are qualified as well.

      It always gets down to the “budget” when we identify ways to improve the workings of Flagler County School\s.. The search was not factored into the budget, but It should have been. It is not an oversight. It is a deliberate act to ensure that the person they have earmarked for the position slides in effortlessly.

      As long as the issues of diversity in hiring, fair and equal treatment, and the best academic interests of our children are addressed by any candidate, we are willing to listen, and we are ready to offer suggestions that may help.

      For those who are not aware of the mission and purpose of the NAACP, please visit the website. We have common interests regarding education, economic development, criminal justice, etc; We are law abiding citizens with family values. We are Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American. What we are attempting to accomplish positively impacts the entire community.
      Our meetings are held every 4th Tuesday at 6 pm at the African American Cultural Center. All are welcome.

  22. Mike says:

    You will not get change with the same leadership, Oliva has been a school district employee and it is doubtful he will make any real changes to our district. This just shows the laziness that our school board members have become no search because that takes time. They also may not want to search because they could find someone and they may rock the boat. Just because someone is second in command does not mean they automatically become the next leader, you earn that position. I believe they do need to widen the search and look for some new fresh leadership, the old leadership has not proven its self to well, and Oliva is part of that team. Let Oliva interview for the position along with other qualified candidates, lets find the best person for the job, not just move one up because we are to lazy or worried we may actually get a person who will cut the fat and weed out the unfit.

  23. kmedley says:

    Wasn’t it Dr. King’s “Dream” for us to judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin? Mr. Oliva, as many have pointed out, IS Flagler County and his knowledge of this school district cannot be purchased through a national search.

  24. My Daily Rant says:

    NAACP Wake up, Flagler has some of the highest rated schools in Florida.Is it because this gentleman isn’t Black that you say ALL Students wont get the same Education.Give him a chance before you condem him.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Florida ranks nearly at the bottom of national school rankings. Being the best of the worst isn’t really a lot to brag about.

      And our rankings have been slipping lately. We’re not on a good trajectory.

      • Nancy N. says:

        It’s been brought to my attention that Florida is nearly at the bottom in school spending but not achievement. My bad.

        However I will still say that we as a nation rank very low compared to other countries and have a long way to go to catch up. When I went to school in Europe, I was taught things in 5th and 6th grade that I saw again presented as “new” material in high school after I returned here: algebra, literature, science…

        We as a country have to start prioritizing education or we won’t have the educated workers we need to build a modern economy.

  25. bulldog says:

    LET US VOTE ON IT….Are you kidding? Just what we need….a bunch of people who have not set foot inside a public school in years voting on the leader! Vote for the proper school board members and it will take care of itself. That is their job…to do the best for the students/employees within the budget they are dealt.

  26. I/M/O says:

    Isn’t the whole idea of having an Assistant Superintendent having a person in place who already knows the district and the Superintendent’s duties in case the sitting Superintendent decides to leave, gets sick, is incapacitated or even passes away. Have a person in place who already knows the staff and their qualifications and areas of expertise. Why would anyone suggest a nationwide search to hire a person to run a school district in a State. Doesn’t every State have different Education Laws? Different ways to fund school budgets. Different problems? Bring a person in from another State? Who is going to train them? How long would it take for an outsider to get to know the staff, students, what is working, what needs to be changed etc.

    I know let’s hire a person from the northeast so they know how many “Snow Days” our schools need to plan for. (lol)

    I/M/O the Flagler County School Board is correct in deciding to promote from within. I assume that is why the School Board maintains the position of an Assistant Superintendent. They actually started the training of Jacob Oliva when they appointed him Assistant Superintendent. It’s called Positive Planning.

    When the time comes Mr. Oliva will do what he has been doing all along. He will go to work except instead of assisting in running the school district he will now run the school district. Apparently that is what this man has been training for his entire life.

    I wish him well.

    I also find it amusing when people who don’t have a clue as to the enormity of a job criticize an administrator as overpaid.

  27. Sherry Epley says:

    Wisdon from George Carlin (via Norton Smitty) applies here is well. . . are you brave enough to look at the truth? http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=hYIC0eZYEtI

  28. Robert says:

    I agree with the NAACP.
    I don’t know Mr. Oliva’s qualifications.
    He may be qualified. Is he the best qualified? Compared to who?
    If there is only one candidate for a position then,of course, he would be the best qualified.

    The majority here seem to be cheer leading this man on.

    The school board opening the search up on a local level is nothing more that a sham to allow them to say the position was open for all to apply.

    This selection is a done deal, and the selection was completed long ago.

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