Broward County Public Schools
Earlean Smiley

After ousting superintendent, Broward County (Fla.) school board appoints interim leader

Feb. 8, 2023
Earlean Smiley, 71, a retired administrator, will serve as interim superintendent of the district, the 6th largest in the U.S.

Retired school district administrator Earlean Smiley has been appointed interim superintendent of the Broward County (Fla.) school district.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Smiley will replace Vickie Cartwright, who, after a short and rocky tenure, reached an agreement with the board to leave the district, the sixth largest in the United States.

Smiley, 71, started with the district as a teacher in 1974, working her way up to principal and then deputy superintendent. She left in 2010 to become superintendent of the McCormick (S.C.) district.

Because Smiley will not assume the superintendent’s duties immediately, the board also has named Associate Superintendent Valerie Wanza as the "task-assigned superintendent." She will fill the job for a week or so until Smiley takes over.

As interim superintendent, Smiley will not be eligible to apply for the job; the board will conduct a search for a permanent superintendent and hopes to hire someone by July 1.

Before the board appointed Smiley, it approved a severance agreement with Cartwright. The district will pay her about $266,000.

Cartwright was named interim superintendent in August 2021 and was appointed to the job on a permanent basis in February 2022. After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis removed four board members and appointed replacements, Cartwright was fired in November.

Some new board members were elected in November and replaced the DeSantis appointees, and that board rescinded Cartwright’s termination. But the board decided Jan. 24 to oust her again.                  

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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