Congratulations are in order for Donald Fennoy. Palm Beach County School District’s chief operating officer has been selected as its next Superintendent. Having worked closely with current Superintendent, Dr. Robert Avossa, the school board voted Wednesday to offer the position to Fennoy, 41. He is expected to move into the role later this month.
Avossa surprised the school board last month by announcing his intention to resign from the County. The board quickly began a search for his replacement and decided to consider only internal applicants.
The candidate pool was extremely small and almost immediately narrowed to three finalists: Fennoy, Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen, and Chief Academic Officer Keith Oswald.
Fennoy has worked in the Palm Beach County school district for just two years, and was admittedly lesser known within the schools and community before the announcement of his promotion on Wednesday.
School board members say that Fennoy’s admirable working relationship with Avossa, excellent reputation as a leader, and his background as an educator helped with their decision. The board will now enter negotiations for a contract with Fennoy.
The man who began his career in education as a third grade reading teacher in Orlando, will soon oversee about 180 schools with more than 172,000 students.
New Palm Beach County schools superintendent will be an internal candidate
February 20, 2018
There are five individuals in the running for the Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent and they all currently work for the school district. Officials voted unanimously to limit the pool of candidates and hire internally when Robert Avossa unexpectedly resigned on February 5.
According to the board, the selected search for the superintendent of the 11th largest school district in the country with a student enrollment of more than 193,000 students, was enacted in order to expedite the process and avoid the expenses of an extensive search. In fact, the opening for applicants lasted just a matter of days and closed on February 16.
The board decided that they will sign the new hire to a five-year contract and offer a salary of $250,000 to $300,000.
The total number of applicants? Eight. None has prior experience as a superintendent.
Of the eight Palm Beach County applicants, four are current administrators, one is a science teacher, and three others were employees who did not appear to meet the assigned criteria.
The names of the five considered applicants are: Tradewinds Middle School teacher Vicente Mendez-Bonilla, Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer Donald Fennoy, Chief Academic Officer Keith Oswald and Regional Superintendent Frank Rodriguez
The board is expected to narrow the list of five qualified candidates on Wednesday. According to the School District’s website, the board aims to have a new superintendent named by Spring Break.
Avossa, who has served since 2015, will leave in June in order to take a position at a Palm Beach Gardens publishing company.