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Brevard County (Fla.) board forgoes interviews, appoints new superintendent

Board members cut short search process and promote district's chief operating officer to top job.

The Brevard County (Fla.) School Board has decided to forgo interviews and promote a longtime district administrator as its new superintendent.

Florida Today reports that the board described Mark Mullins, the district's chief operating officer, as "a clear standout" among applicants and appointed him to replace outgoing Superintendent Desmond Blackburn.

The school board had intended to narrow a list of finalists at a Tuesday meeting, but instead voted to forgo the interview process and hire Mullins, the district’s chief operating officer.

Blackburn has resigned to become chief executive officer of the national education nonprofit New Teacher Center. 

The Brevard district has about 73,500 students and in the most recent rankings was the 50th largest district in the United States.

Mullins has worked for the Brevard district since 1994. He started as a math teacher at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High and rose through the ranks as an assistant principal at Southwest Middle School and Palm Bay High School and then principal of the Clearlake Middle School. For six years, he oversaw schools in the south part of the county as an area superintendent.

As chief operating officer, Mullins oversees staff and budgets for the transportation services, food and nutrition services, purchasing and warehouse services and school security. 

Of the 12 candidates who applied for the superintendent job, Mullins was the only candidate all five board members agreed they'd like to select as a finalist.  

Board members had decided not to conduct a nationwide search as it has done in the past, out of concern that it would take too long and cost too much money.

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