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Former ACPS Superintendent and School Board Chair agree current board is not united

Former ACPS Superintendent and School Board Chair agree current board is not united
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Alachua County School Board members fired two superintendents in less than two years’ time. First, firing Karen Clarke in late 2020 in a three to two vote.

“I have no confidence that this board is going to be able to come together and give any meaningful directions and stability to the community,” said former Superintendent, Dr. Carlee Simon.

A similarly split vote fired Simon without cause, which gives her a severance equal to 20 weeks base salary plus vacation days. The total is just under $90,000. Simon is the highest-paid superintendent in the district’s history at $175,000 a year. Although, Simon is one of the many who won’t be on the dais by the end of the year.

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“It’s also my hope is that the next board that’s elected in August and November can find a candidate that can unite the community and lead the district forward,” said School Board Chair, Rob Hyatt.

“That’s not gonna happen from this board.

Candidates have filed to run for every open school board seat. Four seats up for election except for district four, represented by Dr. Leanetta McNealy.

“So I want people to run that will deal with our community,” said, parent Tina Days.

Parent to two in the district, Days said she’s supported Simon since her start as superintendent.

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Mildred Russell and Tina Certain are running again for their seats come August. Days said it will be a crucial election.

“Don’t vote for the party,” said Days. “Vote for the person that deal with what you want to deal with, not just the party. You see what happened because I voted for Paulson and Hyatt and I am ashamed. Listen here people, I’m ashamed, I want my vote back.”

Board members meet again in two weeks to pick an interim superintendent. In the meantime, Deputy Superintendent Donna Jones is temporarily in charge.

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