Palm Beach County (Fla.) Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa will resign later this year to take a position at a Florida publishing company.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Avossa told the school board in a letter that he had accepted a job as senior vice president at LRP Publications in Palm Beach Gardens. His resignation is effective June 12.
“This opportunity will allow me to spend the last part of my career impacting education at the national level while affording me more time to commit to my family,” he wrote.
The move caught district educators off guard and sent school board members scrambling to make plans to find a replacement.
“I’m disappointed because I think we’ve made such huge progress, which I expect that we will continue,” board member Karen Brill says.
The Palm Beach County district with more than 193,000 students in 180 schools, is the 10th-largest public school system in the United States.
Avossa, 46, was considered a rising star in the public education sector. His name had recently appeared on a speculative list of potential candidates to lead New York City’s public schools.
But with a son in high school and a daughter in middle school, Avossa says he wants to move into a position that would be less time-consuming.
Avossa took the Palm Beach County job in June 2015 after serving as superintendent in the Fulton County (Ga.) district. Avossa began working in education as a junior high school teacher in Hillsborough County, Fla. He worked 11 years in the Orange County (Fla.) district as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He then worked for five years as a district administrator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools.
Last month, Palm Beach County board members gave him top marks in an annual review and raised his annual base salary to $334,750.
Avossa says in his new position he will help to oversee LRP Publications’ education products, which include newsletters, magazines, conferences and online seminars.