Four school district officials vie to be next PBC schools chief

Feb 16, 2018
Four school district administrators are vying to be the Palm Beach County’s next schools superintendent. Clockwise from top left: Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer Donald Fennoy, Regional Superintendent Frank Rodriguez and Chief Academic Officer Keith Oswald. (Photos via Twitter)

Four high-ranking school district administrators want to be Palm Beach County’s next schools superintendent.

As the application window closed Friday in the school board’s superintendent search, eight school district employees had submitted their names for consideration, including the four administrators, a teacher and three other district employees.

As expected, four members of outgoing Superintendent Robert Avossa’s executive cabinet have asked to be considered: Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer Donald Fennoy, Chief Academic Officer Keith Oswald and Regional Superintendent Frank Rodriguez.

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Christiansen and Fennoy — who each served as principals and administrators in other school districts — were recruited by Avossa to join his administration after he took office in June 2015. Oswald and Rodriguez are longtime school district employees who worked as principals before moving into high-level administrative positions.

School board members will review the candidates’ applications next week and are scheduled to select finalists on Wednesday. Avossa announced last week that he will resign in June to take a job at a Palm Beach Gardens publishing company. Board members hope to name his replacement by mid-March.

By a unanimous vote, school board members decided Wednesday that the best way to ensure continuity after Avossa’s surprise resignation announcement was to consider only members of his administration to replace him.

The other four applicants are: Tradewinds Middle School teacher Vicente Mendez-Bonilla, Odyssey Middle School office assistant Jennifer Auguste, Park Vista High School technology support technician Gregory Krieger and maintenance construction worker John Parkinson.

Auguste, Krieger and Parkinson did not appear to meet the school board’s requirement that candidates have a master’s degree, the school district said.

Board members set the pay range for the new superintendent at between $250,000 and $300,000, reasoning that no candidate would demand a salary as high as Avossa’s since none has prior experience as a superintendent. Avossa was hired in 2015 at a $325,000 base salary, and his pay rose recently to $334,000.

Board members decided that the next superintendent should be signed to a five-year contract.