MIAMI – The fast Miami-Dade County School Board’s search for a replacement for Superintendent Alberto Carvalho continues with just about a dozen qualifying candidates and some strong opposition to the process.
There were 16 candidates on Wednesday, the deadline to submit applications, records show. By Thursday, the list had decreased to 14. Two decided to drop out.
The school board’s chair was the voice of the activists who are convinced the rush to replace Carvalho is associated with a backroom deal that is favorable to the board and not to the community.
“I, Perla Tabares Hantman, do not partake in any shams,” she said.
The board is deeply divided. Lubby Navarro, the District 7 member, accused opponents of spreading rumors about the hiring strategy, which doesn’t include an interim superintendent.
“Everyone has the right to free speech, but not everyone has the right to go on the radio and in media outlets and layout false information,” Navarro said.
Mari Tere Rojas, the District 6 member, agreed with Navarro.
“This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Rojas said.
Marta Pérez, the District 8 member, agrees with Tabares, the District 4 member, and said she has become a scapegoat for speaking up against the process. Pérez had also referred to it as a “sham.”
District 1 Board Member Steve Gallon III was among those opposed to a national search and he had echoed Navarro’s sentiment.
The board’s majority decided the job description would require experience as a classroom teacher, principal, and administrator, and a master’s degree. A doctorate was preferred. The candidate has to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of the community.
The next school board meeting is on Jan. 18. Carvalho’s last day before he departs to Los Angeles is Feb. 3.
Here are some of the candidates:
The former speech pathologist and father of four attended public schools. He is the principal of a charter school in Homestead.
“I just love fighting for the forgotten,” Walke said, adding too many children keep falling through the cracks and he wants to change that.
The veteran special needs teacher said his time in the trenches is what makes him most qualified.
“I feel a teacher should be running the school district to let the teachers do what they do best.”
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