The School Board has narrowed down the list of 49 superintendent candidates to a list of eight finalists.
Sarasota County School Board Chairwoman Shirley Brown thanked the the Superintendent Search Committee before the board accepted the committee’s list of superintendent finalists at the school board’s meeting last night.
The list features eight applicants, including Executive Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the Sarasota County School District Todd Bowden. Although Bowden is the only applicant from within the district, he is not the only one from Sarasota.
Bambi Lockman of Sarasota also made the list, along with Florida residents Andrew Rynberg, Mark Porter, Brennan Asplen III, Kevin Gordon and Vickie Cartwright. Fourteen of the original 49 applicants were from Florida.
The only out-of-state applicant the committee identified as a finalist was Arthur Anderson from Georgia.
School board members will now review the committee’s selections and identify candidates to interview on Oct. 4. The final vote is slated for Oct. 18 and current Superintendent Lori White will step down in February 2017.
The timeline for identifying the district’s next superintendent met some criticism from District 2 school board candidate Teresa Mast during her campaign against incumbent Caroline Zucker. Mast maintained that the schedule was created to intentionally exclude incoming conservative candidates from voting, who will be sworn into office on Nov. 22.
Deputy Superintendent Scott Lempe denied the assertions saying the schedule was set due to a superintendent search in St. Johns County. Lempe said the board settled on the schedule to make sure Sarasota County could offer candidates a timeline that was competitive to St. Johns County's. St. Johns County identified its shortlist last night as well.
Of Sarasota County’s eight finalists, two, Vickie Cartwright and Mark Porter, also made the shortlist in St. Johns County.