Communication Builds Our Community

Charter Schools Search for Superintendent Described as "Transparent"

Consultant Invites Public to Nominate Candidates Through Web Portal

Finding a new superintendent for the Lake Wales Charter School System is a painstaking process, with huge focus on finding the ideal candidate, according to Bill Vogel. Vogel, 72, is himself a former school superintendent who is providing services to the Charter Schools Board of Trustees as a consultant to the Florida School Board Association.

"We're very impressed with the commitment of the Board of Trustees to finding the right candidate," he told the LakeWalesNews.Net today. He described the process as very open and said that "anyone can nominate someone" for the position simply by giving their name to the search team through the portal on the Charter School website.

"We're advertising this position through national and online publications," Vogel said, and cited the high level of interest the opening is likely to generate. "Lake Wales Charter Schools is a model for the nation with a possibility of replication," indicating that it is likely to attract a very large field of candidates. The ad is running in the LakeWalesNews.Net classified section.

Vogel has served as superintendent of both the Seminole and St. Lucie County school systems, and also served as a consultant in the hiring process for the new Polk County Schools superintendent Frederick R. Heid, who was hired in April.

The process of seeking a superintendent was initiated by the Charter School Board of Trustees following the departure of former Superintendent Jesse Jackson, who left his position in February after 13 years. The hiring of his replacement is not expected to be finalized before next February.

According to Vogel the trustees are expected to review applications received so far at their next regular meeting scheduled for October 25. The application window will remain open until November 12, at which point the trustees will begin the winnowing process, reference checking and identifying top candidates. Those selected will then be asked to submit videos for the board to review in December.

After the broader field is reduced to a manageable number, those candidates will be interviewed virtually in January, and the finalists will be invited for in-person interviews, which are expected to be conducted in early February. The finalists will also be invited to a public reception so that the broader community can met them and take their measure.

"It's a completely open and transparent process," Vogel said, emphasizing that both the Florida School Board Association and the Charter School Board of Trustees is seeking to unite the community and "bring in the perfect candidate."

Vogel also pointed out that the search committee listed on the portal has provided emails and even cell phone numbers to allow the public to ask questions or make comments.


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