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Sarasota Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 3 years ago

School Board opts for homegrown superintendent candidate

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The Sarasota County School Board voted 4-1 to offer the superintendent position to Todd Bowden.
by: Anna Brugmann Community Editor

After a six-month search, Sarasota County School Board members narrowed their original pool of 49 applicants for the new superintendent to one during today’s meeting. 

Suncoast Technical College Director Todd Bowden will take over for Superintendent Lori White in February, pending contract negotiations. 

During board comments, several board members said they wished it were possible to hire all three candidates, however many followed those statements by voicing support for Bowden, citing his work at the school.

“I would have loved the possibility to see them on our staff, but when it came down to the experience that we need, I again come down to Dr. Todd Bowden,” Board member Jane Goodwin said. “There was a time not too far in the distance past when we needed to do a lot of work on the that institution.”

School Board Chairwoman Shirley Brown was the only member to dissent in her opinion, endorsing Brennan Asplen III from Saint Johns County School District for the position. 

“An inside candidate would be a wonderful thing and I think what Dr. Bowden has done at STC is wonderful,” Brown said “We still need him there.”

Following Brown’s statements, school board member Frank Kovach made the motion to offer the position to Dr. Bowden. The motion passed 4-1 with Brown dissenting. Despite her dissent, Brown made a motion to make the vote unanimous as an act of solidarity to the new superintendent, which passed with unanimous board approval. 

Staff will now negotiate the terms of Bowden’s contract, which will be subject to board approval. 

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