Miami-Dade superintendent candidates identified

District only takes applications for 7 days to find new schools chief

Wednesday marked the end of a week-long period for candidates to apply for Miami-Dade County Public Schools' superintendent position, replacing Alberto Carvalho. The process has drawn criticism.

MIAMI – On the last day to submit resumes for the open superintendent position, Miami-Dade County Public Schools has 16 confirmed candidates.

Initial searches show most of them are in education.

A week ago, the school board voted to take applications for seven days for the top post in the fourth-largest school district in the country.

“I mean, quite frankly, that’s not enough time,” said Dennis Smith, managing partner at Leadership Associates, an executive search firm based in California. “They will not get many applications, in my mind.”

Traditionally, he says it takes between three to four months to do a thorough search.

Some districts, like Miami-Dade, choose not to hire a search firm.

But in Florida, Smith says that can get complicated because of sunshine laws.

“These names are out immediately, so your top candidates generally are not going to apply,” he said.

The controversial decision included what critics call questionable requirements that some allege could mean the majority of the board already has someone in mind.

“I’ve seen a number of misstatements, a number factual inaccuracies cited,” said Steve Gallon, the school board’s vice chair, who voted for the process as it is happening.

He says the reported outrage over the process has been exaggerated.

“I’ve not had any feedback, any feedback from parents who are concerned about this particular process,” he said.

Below are the 16 applicants.

  • Elton Aguilera
  • Gabriela M. Brown
  • Michael Cohen
  • Dr. Ada Iris Cuevas
  • Dr. Jose L. Dotres
  • Danita C. Duhart
  • Dr. Rafaela Espinal
  • Juan Gonzalez
  • Sherrell Hobbs
  • Dr. Ava D. lnnerarity Rosales
  • Derek Negron
  • Jacob Oliva
  • Dr. Oscar Rico
  • Nalissa Saati
  • Shawn C. Thorpe
  • Daniel Walke

Miami-Dade’s next school board meeting is on Jan. 18, and the superintendent search will be the hot topic.

To view the final list of applicants and view their resumes, click here.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.