The Palm Beach County (Fla.) school board has selected Robert Avossa as its next superintendent. Avosso now is the superintendent of the Fulton County (Ga.) district, where he served for four years.
Avossa is taking the helm of a district that is nearly twice the size of his previous post--Palm Beach has about 183,000 students, compared with 96,000 in Fulton County. The Palm Beach board selected Avossa over finalists Desmond Blackburn, chief of school performance and accountability in the Broward County (Fla.) district, and Jesus Jara, deputy schools superintendent in Orange County (Fla.) schools.
“We strongly believe that Dr. Avossa is the candidate to successfully lead our district in building upon our strengths and help us overcome the challenges that school districts face today,” said School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw.
In taking the Palm Beach job, Avossa is returning to the state where he attended school and began his education career.
"I am excited about the opportunity to join a great school system, says Avossa. "In many ways, this is a homecoming. I grew up in and graduated from Brevard County schools and many of my family still lives in Florida."
Avossa began working in education as a junior high school teacher in Hillsborough County; he worked 11 years in the Orange County district as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He then worked for five years as a district administrator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools.
Palm Beach began its superintendent search in January after Superintendent E. Wayne Gent announced that he would not seek to renew his contract.
“This has been a comprehensive, inclusive and open process to find our next superintendent," says Shaw. “We had an impressive group of candidates, but the board unanimously agreed that Dr. Avossa presents the best vision for the district going forward. We look forward to working with Dr. Avossa on the terms of his contract and beginning his work with the district.”
After Avossa accepted the Palm Beach board's offer, the Fulton County board praised Avossa for his accomplishments in that district. "He brought his knowledge, philosophy, energy and passion to his role as superintendent, and the children of Fulton County Schools were the beneficiaries of his tireless efforts."