DRS in search of new superintendent



The Florida A&M Developmental Research Center (FAMU DRS) has been underway in search for a new school superintendent.

This has been the latest news after former superintendent, Ronald Holmes, resigned his position back in early July.  Holmes’ letter of resignation was submitted after serving what some may call, a turbulent two and one-half year term.

According to Rattlernation, earlier in July, Florida A&M president, James Ammons, along with the Board of Trustees were slated to give an evaluation of the DRS performance of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment test before making a decision on renewing Holmes’ three year contract.

The fact that the DRS school grade dropped from a “C” in 2008 to a “D” in 2009 in Holmes’ first year no doubt was a weighing factor in their evaluation.

Nevertheless, within weeks FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris appointed W.E. “Bill” Johnson, former Leon County Schools administrator, as interim superintendent.

Hughes-Harris told WCTV that “she plans to appoint a search committee to include representation from FAMU DRS faculty, and staff, parents, the community and the university”.

To a minority this statement is just that, another statement which stands to be judged.  However, to the majority, these words mirror the thoughts of many DRS parents, FAMU students and other concerned individuals of the community.

A search committee that carries the opinions of faculty and parents among other factors is what the DRS school needs in order to see success within the school.

There is no debate on whether FAMU DRS dropped the ball with its last superintendent.  That was made evident over the past two years. However, a question that must be raised is what are the criteria required in finding an experienced superintendent?

I’m sure that most would prefer a candidate with know-how of K-12 schooling, as well as knowledge of the education system in its totality.  Standards must be set and those in leadership should follow accordingly.

Student Government Association president, Gallop Franklin, serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. 

According to Franklin, the search for the candidate is conducted through the office of the Provost.  Nevertheless, he along with the other board participants has the responsibility of approving the contract of the superintendent if the contract spans over a year.

W.E. “Bill” Johnson is seated as interim superintendent. He has served as interim director for Florida State University Schools, Inc., as well as the Northern Regional Coordinator for the Florida Department of Education.  In addition to these titles, Johnson has worked as principal of Bond and Oak Ridge Elementary Schools.

Upon reading this, one would shake their head as to why only after misfortune would someone who is unquestionably qualified for the position be ushered in to clean up a mess.