Q: What insight can you offer about the choice of Dr. Diana Greene as the new superintendent to lead Duval County Public Schools?

A: Here’s the exciting thing about Dr. Greene: throughout the focus groups that met on May 12, if you look at the comments from the participants, which included business leaders, parents and teachers, all of them said she was “the one.” A diverse group of people identified one candidate. One person put on their comments, “She’s a rock star.”

Q: What do you think led them to this conclusion?

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A: I think if you took the time to watch her two-hour interview with the board, you would see she has a solid, proven track record. This coming year, Manatee County will have the highest paid first year teachers in the state due to her efforts. She created new sources of revenue for her district while taking the district from a “C” to a “B.”

Q: What is the next step?
A: Our goal remains for her to start on July 1. The Office of General Counsel is currently working to negotiate her contract. The plan is for Dr. Willis to stay on and work with Dr. Greene for some amount of transition period.

I talked with Dr. Greene the weekend after we selected her and she’s very excited and looking forward to the challenge here. She graduated from UNF, had her first teaching job at Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary and still has family in the area. To come back here as superintendent is a neat opportunity for her.

Q: What other District 7 news do you have to share?
A: On June 2, Loretto Elementary will hold its 75th Anniversary celebration and the community is invited. Also, at the end of the year, Dr. Richardson from Mandarin High School will retire and she will be greatly missed. Under her leadership, she has added culinary arts, health sciences and the VyStar Academy to MHS, as well as the tradition of the homecoming parade. She has built a great culture of community and we wish her well. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Kendall Nash, a senior at Atlantic Coast High School who broke a 62-year drought by becoming the singles Gateway State Champion.

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at HersheyL@duvalschools.org or call me at (904) 316-3609.

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