A new superintendent for the School Board of Sarasota County Schools will be voted upon from three semifinalists Oct. 18 at the School Board’s regularly scheduled 3:00 p.m. meeting. Superintendent and Pine View alumna Lori White will be retiring Feb. 28 2017 after serving in her position since 2008.
The School Board received 49 applications for the position and approved a list of eight semifinalists curated by the Community Advisory Committee Sept. 6. The board then narrowed down the list of eight to a list of four finalists at their regular meeting Sept. 26. One of the finalists, Andrew Rynberg, withdrew his application, therefore narrowing the list further to three superintendent candidates. Currently, the following candidates are: Tedd Bowden, Mark Porter, and Brennan Asplen III.
Bowden is the Executive Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education of Sarasota County Schools and the only Sarasota County resident of the three finalists. According to Bowden, he pays special attention to Sarasota communities that are at economic disadvantages, and has served on 14 different civil committees throughout the county. Bowden hopes to use his advantage of working in the county for over teen years in his competition with the other candidates.
Porter is the Superintendent of Monroe County Schools in Key West and has served in that position for four years. He explored a variety of different career paths, most notably that of a high school educator and trial attorney. Porter said he plans to use his law experience as an asset to his education occupation.
Asplen is the Deputy Superintendent for Academic and Student Services of St. Johns County in St. Augustine. He went from coaching high school baseball to serving in assistant principal positions then to a high school principal position. He then moved on to culminating his education occupation journey to a deputy superintendent. Asplen has taken account of Sarasota County support for education as proven in the full mill property tax.
Interested individuals can view the School Board’s interviews of the three candidates on the Comcast Channel 20 or on the live stream accessible through sarasotacountyschools.net Oct. 12. Each interview will last for an hour and a half, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m in the chambers of the School Board.
The public is also encouraged to attend a relaxed reception held at Riverview High School’s cafeteria Oct. 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. At the event, the public can become familiar with the three superintendent candidates and have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the candidates with the school board. Participants can write on a notecard their final thoughts regarding the candidates to help the board distinguish the public’s opinions into the appointment consideration.