Miami-Dade hires Collier County school administrator as next superintendent

MIAMI (AP)

A 59-year veteran of Miami-Dade Public Schools has been selected to lead the nation’s fourth-largest school district.

The Miami-Dade School Board has selected José Dotres as its next superintendent, replacing Alberto Carvalho, who is leaving Feb. 3 to become superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The school board interviewed three candidates on Monday before voting 6-3 to appoint Dotres in an eight-hour meeting. Currently Deputy Superintendent of Schools for Collier County, Dotres began his Miami-Dade County career in 1988 as an elementary school teacher and reading coach before becoming a principal. He rose to the position of Administrative Director of Leadership Development and then District Chief of Staff.

“It’s truly an honor. I’m coming back to work with incredible professionals,” Dotres said after the vote. “My greatest desire is that we work closely together for the benefit of this entire school district.”

Many saw Dotres as the favorite of a group of 16 who applied to replace Carvalho after the board opted to make a quick hire rather than appoint an interim superintendent and do a more thorough search. Many teachers, students and community organizers who spoke lamented the lack of community engagement in the hiring process.

Dotres said he chose to apply because he wanted to “continue to serve the district that took me in when I was 5 (and) taught me English as a second language.” He spoke of his existing relationships within the district of 334,000 students and more than 41,000 employees. He said he will provide continuity from administration to administration as Miami-Dade seeks to recruit and retain teachers.

Other finalists included Dr. Rafaela Espinal, Deputy Superintendent in New York, and Jacob Oliva, Senior Chancellor of the Florida Department of Education.

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Martha K. Merrill