Current superintendent Diana Greene starts a new job July 1.
While the School District of Manatee County has named an interim superintendent, questions remain whether she will land the job permanently.
The school board voted 4-1 June 12 to name Deputy Superintendent Cynthia Saunders the interim superintendent, pending contract negotiations.
Her term is expected to begin July 1, when Superintendent Diana Greene leaves to take a similar position in Duval County.
Board Chairman Scott Hopes said Saunders likely will be sworn in at the June 26 board meeting.
“I’m more than happy to take on this role,” Saunders said.
Board member Charlie Kennedy said he believed the district needs a “strong female leader” to keep the district on the right track after Greene leaves.
Saunders, who followed Greene from Marion County, worked as the executive director of secondary schools from 2013 to 2015. Saunders was appointed deputy superintendent of instructional services in July 2015.
Whether Saunders becomes a permanent fixture at Manatee’s helm remains to be determined. At their May 22 meeting, school board members said the interim superintendent would not be allowed to apply to become superintendent. However, Florida School Board Association Executive Director Andrea Messina, who is assisting with the superintendent search, advised the board to keep its options open.
“I would recommend that you not close any doors to any potential candidate,” Messina said.
Board members did not make a decision on whether Saunders would be able to apply for the superintendent post. However, school board member Dave Miner said that he wants to make it clear to applicants looking at Manatee County that no one is guaranteed the position, even if they are the interim superintendent.
The school board will keep the deputy superintendent position open for Saunders, should she decide to stay after a permanent superintendent is hired.