FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County Public Schools won’t be getting a permanent superintendent just yet.
The School Board on Tuesday voted 3-6 against a motion to appoint interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright to the position permanently.
Cartwright was hired earlier this year after the resignation of former Superintendent Robert Runcie. When she was hired, there was a stipulation in her contract essentially saying that she would serve in the role as a placeholder and would be unable to apply for the permanent position.
A national search then would have been conducted for a permanent candidate.
However, over the last few weeks, school board member Nora Rupert felt that Cartwright was doing a good enough job and proposed giving her the position permanently.
“I was impressed by what she’s been able to do. She’s brought forth positiveness that was lacking,” said Rupert. “She is a relationship builder and a consensus builder.”
“I think she has risen to the challenge,” said Broward School Board member Donna Korn.
But many on the school board said that while they feel that Cartwright has done a good job, it is too early to extend her the position and that they should still conduct a nationwide search for a candidate to fill the position.
“I would like to talk about the process, not the person,” said Broward School Board Vice Chair Laurie Rich Levinson. “Again, I don’t think this is how this should have been handled.”
However, some did say they were open to modifying Cartwright’s contract to allow her to apply for the permanent position.
Many in the community were also divided on the issue.
“She has a way of connecting, not only with her peers and her leadership team, but teachers and staff,” said parent Dana Sanders.
“One of the things I would just caution is that we not rush and make a decision,” said parent Rich George.
“The board is doing their due diligence with making sure that they’re going through and they’re following through the process that they put forward,” said Pastor Jimmy Witherspoon, a school district employee.
Ultimately, the motion to give Cartwright the position failed. The school board also did not alter her contract for the time being.
Cartwright said she would have taken the job if offered.
“Regardless of how we go forward, my commitment, my level of commitment of what I’ve been doing and what I will be doing is just the same,” she said.
The interim superintendent said she will apply if she is allowed.
“I am committed to this community, I am committed to this school district. Our students deserve that,” she said. “I always say my guiding principle is students first. I will live by my guiding principle.”
Cartwright currently remains in her interim role. An outside consultant will help the district search for a permanent superintendent.
However, Cartwright is not out of the running for the permanent position just yet. Some school board members plan to at least consider changing her contract so that she can go ahead and apply for the job.
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