Palm Beach County School Board members selected four high-ranking school district administrators as finalists Wednesday to be the next leader of the county’s public schools, with plans to choose one of them for the job March 7.
The four finalists – Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer Donald Fennoy, Chief Academic Officer Keith Oswald and Regional Superintendent Frank Rodriguez – were the only four district administrators who applied.
The other applicant who met the qualifications — Tradewinds Middle School teacher Vicente Mendez-Bonilla – did not make the cut.
Board members plan to privately interview each candidate during the next two weeks, then hold public interviews on March 7. After the public interviews, they plan to select one of the four to be the county’s next superintendent.
The four finalists include two longtime county educators who rose up the ranks within the school district as well as two high-level administrators recruited by current Superintendent Robert Avossa to help to lead the district:
- Christiansen, 49, who had worked with Avossa in Orange County’s public schools, came from Lake County in July 2015 to serve as Avossa’s deputy superintendent.
- Fennoy, 41 — who worked with Avossa in Orange County; Charlotte, N.C.; and Fulton County, Ga. — came to the district in March 2016 to serve as Avossa’s chief operating officer.
- Oswald, 50, started his career as a county teacher in 1993 before serving as an assistant principal and principal at several schools, including as principal of Boynton Beach High, and rising to the district’s chief academic officer.
- Rodriguez, 47, started his career as a county teacher in 1993 before serving as an assistant principal and principal at several schools, including as principal of Olympic Heights High, and rising to regional superintendent.
The school board began its search after Avossa surprised them by announcing this month that he would resign in June to take a job at a Palm Beach Gardens publishing company.
Board members set the pay range for the new superintendent at between $250,000 and $300,000.