chamber board chairman: Appointed superintendent provides opportunity to move escambia county forward
Appointed Superintendent Provides Opportunity to Move Escambia County Forward
By Stephen R. Moorhead, Chamber Board Chairman
During this election, voters in Escambia County have a unique opportunity to change the way the District’s Superintendent of Schools is hired. This opportunity presents a window to bring our County into the modern age and thus better serve area businesses in meeting their employment needs and our economic development partners in attracting new industry to our area. Rather than electing the superintendent, we can appoint one after a nationwide search. The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors endorsed this proposal at our latest meeting.
In today’s business world, employers look for the most capable workers, no matter where they live and this is particularly true with leadership roles. Certainly, our students deserve the opportunity to have the most effective administrator leading them. Under the current system of electing our school superintendent, Escambia County has an extremely limited pool to choose from. We are a County of 320,000 people, most of whom have no experience with running a $600 million operation with 40,000 clients. Yet, we are limiting ourselves to hiring from only within Escambia County, since the only requirement for superintendent is that the person reside in the County.
The opportunity to hire someone who has a proven track record of creating academic success is attractive to the business community. In endorsing the Escambia County School District Referendum, the Chamber’s Board of Directors acknowledges the school district faces challenges, which significantly impact the business community from the standpoint of attracting new industry, as well as, providing a qualified workforce for local businesses. The Chamber’s Board Members believe that a nationwide search to select the most qualified person to lead the school district would provide the best results.
So, when you’re filling out your ballot, we urge you to give our children the benefit of a proven leader by voting for an appointed school superintendent.