MIAMI (WSVN) - Members of the Miami-Dade School Board are interviewing three candidates to replace outgoing Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The special meeting, being held at the School Board Administration Building in Miami, began Monday afternoon and was still ongoing as of 8 p.m.
“The successful candidate will serve the entire board and this entire school district,” said Miami-Dade School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman.
In the running for the position are Dr. Jose Dotres, Dr. Rafaela Espinal and Jacob Oliva. All of them have a background in education.
There was initially some confusion about the amount of questions each school board member would ask each candidate and the amount of time each candidate would have to be interviewed publicly.
Dotres is currently the Deputy Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools and a former assistant superintendent at M-DCPS.
“The primary ‘why’ behind my decision is to continue serving the community that welcomed me when I was 5 years old, helped me to grow into being a successful student and taught me English as a second language,” Dotres told school board members.
Dotres went into further details about his goals if he is selected.
“Thus, as a leader, I know that we need to curtail and conquer barriers and come up with innovative solutions on behalf of our students,” he said.
Espinal is an assistant superintendent in New York City.
Oliva is the Florida Department of Education’s Senior Chancellor.
Before school board members began interviewing the candidates, there was a public comments section. Some of the speakers stressed the process is moving too fast.
“Big decisions like this don’t get everybody’s approval, but what we have to do is, we have to make sure that we assure that the next superintendent loves all of our children and is committed to all of our children,” said a man.
But the biggest concern came from parents and a student who wanted the meeting held at a different time, because they aren’t as involved as they would like to be.
“I share the same ideas as all of my students,” said a teacher. “I came here with that, frankly, it’s unfair and intentional that these school board meetings are held at a time that is inconvenient for students to attend, and inconvenient for parents and working people.”
“If you cared about public input, you should have held this meeting [starting] at 5 p.m., at a time when parents should attend,” said a woman.
“I think the decision that you’ll make will have a very large impact in the community and will also be the legacy that you leave
All three candidates are being kept separate inside of the School Board Administration Building, and only one at a time is being allowed inside the chamber.
As of 8 p.m., Dotres and Espinal have completed the interview process, and Oliva was being interviewed.
Carvalho has accepted the position of superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is scheduled to leave South Florida in February.
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