FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward County School Board held a meeting to vote for an interim superintendent.

On Wednesday, members voted unanimously to approve the contract for Dr. Earlean Smiley.

Board members applauded as Smiley was given a bouquet of flowers.

The longtime educator is coming out of retirement to lead the district while the school board searches for a permanent superintendent.

“I want to make sure that the behavior threat assessment systems are working properly. I want to make sure that teachers have what they need in terms of resources to get the jobs done,” said Smiley, “and I want to make sure our students understand that we love them, and their voices count.”

Smiley has her work cut out for her.

“We’re a hot mess and a crazy carousel of chaos,” said Broward County School Board member Nora Rupert. “I want to get off.”

Smiley negotiated a package with Broward School Board Chair Lori Alhadeff on Monday morning.

The new interim superintendent will serve immediately at an annual salary of $300,000 until a permanent superintendent is selected and hired.

Smiley replaced Vickie Cartwright, who was fired in January after being on the job for just one year.

Cartwright fell out of favor with the board after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for various reasons, appointed five members. In the ensuing weeks, she was fired, rehired and nearly fired again before she resigned earlier this month.

“It has been an honor to serve the students, families,” she said before she stepped down.

Cartwright left the district with a severance package worth about $266,000.

As for Smiley, she said her love for the district is why she came back.

“Many of my students that I taught as a teacher, I was the principal of their students,” she said. “It’s a love relationship, and it’s longstanding, and I value that.”

School board officials said they hope to hire a permanent superintendent by July.

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