R. Exhibit Index

Exhibit A1 – SUPERINTENDENT JOB DESCRIPTION FROM PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST 8/11/21                                        P. 24

Exhibit A2 – SUPERINTENDENT JOB DESCRIPTION WITH POST DATED APPROVAL 1992                                        P. 25

Exhibit A3 – ARTICLE ON SUPERINTENDENT HUGHES & SCPS ON RAYBURN MILWEE 1952                                        P. 26

Exhibit A4 – ORLANDO SENTINEL ARTICLE                        P. 27


HAGERTY                                             P. 28

Exhibit A6 – SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH ARTICLE                    P. 52


Exhibit C1 – VOTING RECORD IN BOARD MINUTES 2/9/21                P. 55





Exhibit D1 – BEAMON’S RESIGNATION LETTER                    P. 73


Exhibit D3 – FACEBOOK PHOTO POST                            P. 76


WALT GRIFFIN                                        P. 77

Exhibit E2 – GRIFFIN’S CALENDAR                            P. 78


RESCIND VOTE                                        P. 81


Exhibit F2 – PUBLIC COMMENT SPEAKERS LIST                     P. 85

Exhibit F3 – SCPS POLICY VIOLATION                             P. 85

Exhibit F4 – ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER                        P. 85


POSITION                                            P. 87


REQUIRED                                            P. 89

Exhibit G3 – FLORIDA STATUTE 1001.51                        P. 89


Exhibit G5 – ILLINOIS WATCH DOGS ARTICLE                    P. 114

Exhibit G6 – SCPS BUDGET                                P. 118

Exhibit G7 – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEGAL SERVICES                P. 119

Exhibit G8 – EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT                        P. 121

Exhibit H1 – BOARD MEMBER PENNOCK STATEMENT                P. 132

Exhibit H2 – CHAIN OF EMAILS                                P. 134

Exhibit I1 – SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH COMMITTEE                P. 140

Exhibit I2 – TALLY SHEET                                    P. 141

Exhibit J1 – SURVEY RESULT                                P. 142


LAWSUIT                                            P. 144

Exhibit L1 – FLORIDA STATUTE 1001.50                        P. 147


STUDENT & SCHOOL SUCCESS                             P. 148


PAY RANGE                                             P. 149


WITH PAY RANGE                                        P. 151

Exhibit O1 – EVALUATION                                    P. 153



ON SEMINOLE                                        P. 158

Exhibit Q1 – TERMINATION FOR CAUSE                        P. 161

Exhibit Q2 – PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT                P. 161

Exhibit Q3 – PARENT PUBLIC COMMENT SPEECH 10/26/21            P. 165








Robert W. Hughes; 44; 107 Pineapple Court, Longwood 32750; home phone 332-7616; work phone 322-1252; bachelor’s degree from Emory and Henry College, Emory, VA; master’s degree in education from Rollins College. Former teacher in the Seminole County school system in 1967 and became administrator a year later. Principal at Sabal Point Elementary until 1980.

Term expires: November 1988.

Milwee History/Milwee Middle School:

Rayburn T. Milwee, Sr., joined the Lyman faculty in 1939 as a teacher. The student population then was just over 200 students in grades 1-12. Mr. Milwee became principal of Lyman School in 1949, and was elected superintendent of schools for Seminole County in 1952. 




352 Lake Park Trail Oviedo, FL 32765 (407) 366-0537 waltdavidgriffin@gmail.com

VISION By strengthening relationships with the community and refining the structure and practices of the organization, Seminole County Public Schools will provide a nationally recognized 21st century ePathways experience for all students so that each graduate becomes a productive, contributing citizen.

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS With 27 years of relevant experiences, including seven years of teaching, seven years as an assistant principal, eight years as a principal, and five years of district office executive level positions, I have been recognized for outstanding communication, leadership, analytical thinking, fiscal management, and decision-making skills.

Experienced in leading successful change and restructuring schools using innovative strategies and sound instructional, organizational and fiscal models. As a principal and district-wide executive director, I successfully implemented a full school reorganization; embedded rigorous standards as the focal point of teaching and learning; replaced ineffective and outdated programs with engaging 21st Century magnet programs and programs of emphasis; reconstituted an entire school staff; and used conservative, zero-based budgeting strategies, all of which have been sustained over time.

Recognized as a trusted leader and highly effective communicator as evidenced by the genuine community, business and stakeholder relationships which have continued to grow during the last 27 years of my career. By listening, collaborating, and establishing trusting partnerships, I have maximized the opportunities for students and staff and have simultaneously built county, state and national partnerships.  Skilled as a problem-solving, performance-driven leader dedicated to improving academic achievement of all students. As is documented in the school and district student performance data, there has been significant improvement in all areas for which I was responsible. These results are reflective of my commitment to engaging students, securing a high-quality staff, motivating teachers and integrating technology as a learning tool.

Committed to leadership development of students, teachers and administrators by providing business and community-based experiences. I believe our students benefit from our teachers’ relevant experiences in business and industry. I believe our students deserve the opportunity to interact with top quality professionals in the workforce. By working with community agencies, I have expanded relevant work and internship experiences for students and teachers.


Executive Director, 2007 – Present

Executive Director Secondary Education, Seminole County Public Schools

Inspires and leads over 2000 teachers, administrators, and support staff and 20,000 students at nine high schools and three alternative sites

Demonstrates visionary leadership and problem-solving skills impacting school, district and community level decisions by participating in the Superintendent’s Educational Support Team and the Seminole County Instructional Support Team

Builds relationships and fosters community partnerships as liaison to College Board (state and national level), Seminole State College, University of Central Florida, Sheriff’s Department, Bio Orlando, Central Florida Hotel Lodgings Association and other organizations and businesses

Principal, 1999 – 2007

Seminole High School, Sanford, Florida

Millennium Middle School, Fine Arts and Communication Magnet, Sanford, Florida

Transformed both schools into exemplary models of high-quality education and implemented the first high school reading program.

Assistant Principal, 1989-1999

Lakeview Middle School, Sanford, Florida

Tuskawilla Middle School, Oviedo, Florida

Spearheaded the transformation of Lakeview Middle School into Millennium Middle School, a magnet school for the arts, by co-authoring the magnet assistance grant, serving as Magnet Coordinator, and implementing the vision

Teacher, 1982 – 1989

Mathematics Teacher – Tuskawilla Middle School, Oviedo, Florida

Mathematics and Psychology Teacher- Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, Florida

Demonstrated commitment to students by serving as the soccer coach, student government sponsor, math department chair, SECME sponsor, Math Team coach, yearbook advisor


Experienced in leading successful change and restructuring schools using innovative strategies and sound instructional, organizational and fiscal models.

Orchestrated the total restructuring of Millennium Middle School and transformed Seminole High School, resulting in both schools maintaining status as world class educational programs. Recognized by the State of Florida as a “Turn Around Principal” for bringing both Millennium Middle School and Seminole High School up two full letter grades in the state accountability system.

Managed multi-million-dollar budgets, including the $2.4 million Magnet School Assistance Program grant and high school budgets of over $2 million. Developed a fiscal oversight committee to advise on managing the high school budget.

Spearheaded review of secondary master schedules to ensure greatest efficiency of district funds, statutory compliance, forecast personnel needs and assured equal access to high level courses for all students, including AP, IB and dual enrollment. District cost savings resulted from initiating the Seven Period Day.

Supported and implemented the School Boards vision to establish a Program of Emphasis at every high school to prepare students for 21st century post-secondary success. Refreshed Magnet programs so that students’ skills remain competitive in the global economy.

Restructured school and district staff to maximize efficiency.

Trained principals across the State of Florida on how to integrate technology in their schools and offices to increase student achievement and engagement. Received national PALM certification.

Recognized as a trusted leader and highly effective communicator as is evidenced by the genuine community, business and stakeholder relationships which have continued to grow during the last 27 years of my career in education.

Worked closely with community partners to encourage parental involvement and strong business and community alliances. This included serving on many joint district and business committees including

Seminole State College, Bio Orlando, Youth Build, Sheriff’s Task Force and the District Discipline Committee.

Engaged parents throughout my career, with documented success in securing a high level of parental involvement. Tripled parent involvement in PTA and SAC at both Millennium Middle School and Seminole HS.

Implemented student outreach efforts including Student Press Conferences, monthly Student Government meetings, and an annual meeting with the School Board to foster communication, generate problem solving and build student leadership.

Led faculty, parents and community to focus on the goals of increasing student achievement, decreasing achievement gaps, ensuring elementary and middle school students are high school ready and high school students are college and career ready. Organized and presented annual School Advisory Council meetings by cluster.

Implemented weekly Communicator between district office and school staff to reduce the number of emails and improve the communication process.

Skilled as a problem-solving, performance-driven leader dedicated to improving the academic achievement and talent development of all students.

Improved academic achievement at two schools in the capacity as principal, and nine high schools as executive director.

Increased the number of district high school students taking Advanced Placement Courses from 4526 in 2007 to 5869 in 2011, while at the same time improving the pass rate.

Reduced by 125% the number of students needing math remediation upon entry to Seminole State College.

Increased State academic rankings and documented growth in student participation and proficiency in reading, math, writing and science for all students.

Moved two schools up two letter grades in the state accountability system.

Designed and implemented processes and programs for the improvement of high school graduation rates.

Increased graduation rate to 93%.

Developed a target ACT intervention program for juniors and seniors not successful on FCAT.

Implemented concordant score program for non-proficient FCAT seniors. As a result, over 540 students have received a regular diploma as opposed to a certificate of completion.

Developed the High School Transition program to increase support for students characterized as potential dropouts.

Developed remote site locations for credit recovery for students dropping out.

Designed and fully implemented the Millennium Middle School Arts Magnet program, initiated pre-IB middle and high school programs, expanded the International Baccalaureate program, increased Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment opportunities to improve opportunities for College and Career Readiness for all students. Established programs of emphasis at each high school that are tied to relevant 21st century postsecondary workforce and/or college opportunities.

Committed to leadership development of students, teachers and administrators to provide business and community-based experiences.

K-12 Teacher and Administrator Leadership

Developed a Leadership Series for K-12 current and aspiring administrators. Topics included; hiring, student achievement, communication, fiscal management, professional learning communities, practical problem-solving, students in crisis, parent conferencing, developing a school-wide discipline and security plan, athletics and post-secondary readiness.

Transformed the focus of graduation from being a high school centered initiative to a pre-k through high school collaborative effort.

Inspired administrators to think creatively to meet the educational challenges facing students and schools.

Student Leadership

Implemented student leadership opportunities by establishing Student Council Monthly Leadership Meetings, and the Annual Student Council Board Work Session.

Provided students with a voice concerning educational challenges through regular student press conferences and countywide student government.

Community Leadership

Organized and presented with district staff at numerous K-12 School Advisory Council presentations.

Actively engaged with the Central Florida Hotel Lodging Associated, providing career pathway experiences for students.

Implemented, in cooperation with the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, opportunities for jobs and internships for high school juniors.

Supported the School Board in providing genuine paid internships for our teachers, at STEM related industries.


College Board Advocacy – Seminole County Public Schools Transition Program-2012

College Board Equity and Excellence Recognition-2011

College Board Equity and Excellence Award for increased college readiness opportunities for under-represented minorities-2010, 2011

Seminole Association of School Administrators Above and Beyond Award-2010

Seminole State Pathfinder Award for increasing dual enrollment while increasing advanced placement and data alignment between Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools, 2009

Florida Department of Education Turnaround Principal-2006

Seminole County HS Principal of the Year-2006

State of Florida NASSP Middle School Principal of the Year-2002

Honorary Lifetime PTA Membership-2001

Florida DOE Master Technology Trainer-2001

Graduate Leadership Seminole-1999

Seminole County Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year-1996

Walt Disney World Teacherrific Recipient-1992

Tuskawilla Middle School Teacher of the Year-1987

Honorary Lifetime PTA membership-1987


ePathways – System reset for the 21st Century Learner

Leadership Training for Current and Perspective Administrators and Student Leaders

Focused on the Future – Developing a system to prepare students for post-secondary success and promote economic development

College Board Advanced Placement/Dual Enrollment – How to expand both programs simultaneously

High School Accountability – Educated parents, community and statewide school board members on the changes to High School Accountability

Developing A Discipline Plan for Middle and High Schools

The Role of The High School Reading Coach – Using data to drive program and placement decisions

Implementing Mobile Computer Devices in The Classroom – Certified PALM trainer for FLDOE

Creating A Magnet Program in The Middle School – Working with other districts to develop a sustainable program

Developing A Conflict Resolution Program – Teaching students to resolve conflicts peacefully

The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Master Schedule

Cooperative Learning and Simulations

Parent Conferencing (Creating A Win/Win for All) – Teaching teachers how to run effective parent conferences

The Collaborative Decision-Making Process – Teacher unions and administrators finding common ground

Integrating Technology to Support a Curriculum Plan

Principals Creating a Working School Wide Technology Plan in Their Schools


August 2013 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL

(Anticipated) Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Dec. 1996 University of Florida Gainesville, Fl

Ed.S. Educational Leadership

Dec. 1984 University of Central Florida Orlando, Fl

Master of Administration and Supervision

Dec. 1981 University of Central Florida Orlando, Fl

Bachelor of Psychology




What colleagues and the community are saying about Walt Griffin:

Mr. Griffin has an impeccable record as an educational leader who creates positive change to improve the conditions for learning and student learning outcomes. A person who can begin day one with effective decision- making, initiation of effective and efficient policies and has demonstrated the ability to collaborate with the extended education community.

Dr. Rosemarye Taylor, Professor, University of Central Florida

I have absolute confidence in Walt’s abilities to promote cooperation, provide visionary leadership, inspire trust, lead high achievement, recognize cultural diversity, develop relationships with our business community, maximize financial and human resources, and be the visible leader and role model for SCPS.

Demitri Nikitin, PhD, Parent of two former Seminole County students and President and CEO, BlueChip Energy, LLC

Though we have had some challenges over the years, it has been through Walt’s leadership and ability to take those challenges and work through them in a way that has been beneficial for both the Jefferson Awards and the Seminole County Public Schools.

Michele Fidance National Director for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, Regional Program Director for the Students in Action

[Walt Griffin] is known throughout Central Florida and among educational leaders across the state as an innovative leader and incredibly hard worker with the ability to positively transform educational practices. Recently, the Superintendent of one of our largest Florida school districts noted to me that there are few leaders he has ever met with the ability to inspire educators and students as Walt Griffin can. No educator that I have worked with in twenty years has touched so many students lives, influenced so many adults, and helped facilitate the change process and culture across a district more than Walt Griffin.

Kevin G. Smith

Deputy Director, Just Read, Florida! Office, Florida Department of Education

Mr. Griffin has distinguished himself by having a litmus test for decision-Making: what will serve the students of Seminole County schools best?

Barry W. Gainer, Former School Board Member, Seminole County Public Schools

Walt Griffin has made Millennium a success because he is committed to helping all of his students, whether they’re struggling kids who need help with reading or top achievers looking to learn foreign languages. These qualities coupled with a keen sense of humor and a tireless work ethic, have firmly established him as one of the most innovative, caring and accountable administrators one could hope to find at any level of school.

What students are saying about Walt Griffin:

It is my hope that any committee tasked with finding a new superintendent discovers what many hundreds of families in Seminole County know and that is that Mr. Walt Griffin is one of this nation’s finest educators and it would be a loss to our county public education system if he was not made Superintendent.  As a former student of both MMS and SHS I can attest that Walt Griffin is admired by teachers, students, parents and community leaders for his steadfast dedication to improving our schools. He is responsible for the transformation of two under-performing schools into two of this county’s highest. He led the effort to find funding for these projects using grants and drastically increased the testing performance of both schools. Mr. Griffin also as principal was fiercely dedicated to his students, he made attempts to learn most students’ names and always had an open-door policy. Not known to many is that Mr. Griffin also a mentor to many students, Mr. Griffin would personally buy shoes for students who couldn’t afford them, or meet with students when they had family emergencies to make sure they were alright. If there is any reason it seems as though Mr. Griffin is the presumed frontrunner for superintendent, that’s because he should be. His dedication to ensuring every child achieves their potential and Seminole County Public Schools remain among the best, is unmatched.

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: Seminole County Public Schools Alumni | Friday, September 16, 2011 at 9:15 PM

If a few years ago, your child was fortunate to have him as a teacher, your child had the best. As a principal, he was respected and loved by staff and students. You will have a HUGE support group for Mr. Griffin! This school board can go all over the nation and realize you have it in your own backyard!

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: fedup | Friday, September 16, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I strongly agree Mr. Griffin would be an excellent choice. As a student at Seminole High from 2002-2006, I was privileged to know Mr. Griffin as principal. He was enthusiastic, warm and unfailingly kind. In the subsequent years, as we’ve remained friends, nothing has changed in this regard. I would highly recommend and support his selection as the new Superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools.

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: Justin York | Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

What parents are saying about Walt Griffin:

I am confident that he is the best choice and that a search will show that. With budgets being cut, and funding short, I don’t think it’s necessary to spend money on a nationwide search when Mr. Griffin has proven his ability as a leader and motivator.

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: Seminole county parent | Friday, September 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Mr. Griffin is a man of integrity, someone who is passionate about education, and the belief that EVERY child can be successful. His support of students is unprecedented and always went above and beyond what most administrators do for their students. He is fair to all students, no matter who they are or who they know.  There are many amazing things that the general public doesn’t know about him because he doesn’t publicize his good deeds. He is a man of character, and, you’re right, he SHOULD be the frontrunner for Superintendent. He has proven his worth in our county schools, and he DESERVES to lead our schools!!!

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: Seminole County Parent | Friday, September 16, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Both of my sons attended Seminole HS when Mr. Griffin was principal. I’ll never forget the immediate transformation of the campus from dirty to spotless, from scary to safe from cold to caring. He created an academic and athletic powerhouse in a very short time because he knows how to handle parents, teachers, students and the community. He fired several employees in a short time and was lauded by the teachers by being presented a “velvet sledgehammer” for doing what should have been done long before he arrived. His conservative approach had him eliminate dated problems, overstaffed departments and bring modern, relevant opportunities to the students. He increased opportunities and decreased spending. He openly shared the budget with the community, SAC and PTA and sought help. I remember to this day his graduation speech that twice brought 7000 people to their feet. He spoke from the heart and was brutally honest about our obligation to the graduates and to future students. I don’t know how a new superintendent is selected but I hope that money is not spent looking for Mr. Griffin.

Orlando Sentinel Blog Post

Posted by: Taxpayer | Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Dr. Willam H. (Bill) Vogel


HOME 772/466-5300 ■ CELL 772/5180385 – WORK 772/468-5021

Professional Preparation

Doctor of Education Florida Atlantic University 1990

Specialist in Education Florida Atlantic University 1981

Masters of Arts in Teaching Rollins College 1971

Bachelor of Arts-History Rollins College 1968

Professional Experience

1997 to Present

Superintendent of Schools, St. Lucie County School District, Fort Pierce, Florida

As the CEO of the largest organization in the county, Dr. Vogel leads this culturally and economically diverse school district by building the necessary capacity (the clarity of purpose, leadership commitment, infrastructure for taking action, resource allocation and assessment mechanisms) to: focus on the core business of schools, look to the future, maintain direction, and think and plan strategically. With the district’s visionary School Board, Dr. Vogel has built a dynamic and competent leadership team that focuses on those things that educators can control and reframes issues and problems to seek new kinds of solutions that will enable students and staff to achieve desired results.

District Demographics


> 3500: 66% white, 30% African American, 4% Hispanic and other


> 31,000: 61% white, 30% African American, 12.5% Hispanic and other

> 42 languages, representing 27 countries

> 53.73% free and reduced lunch K-12

> 72.6% free and reduced lunch K-5

Annual Budget:

> $254,000,000.00

St. Lucie County ranks 35th in the state, or $21,993.00 in per capita income.

Significant Accomplishments

• Initiated a strategic planning process and format that has enabled the district to be dear about their core business, vision, mission, beliefs and goals. This process and ensuing documents have received OPPAGA endorsement.

• Worked hand in hand with community leaders to attain Unitary Status.

• Created K-12 school dusters with acting principals serving as duster leaders. This alignment has resulted in collaborations between school administrators, teachers and students, increased staff training and a collegial commitment to help one another to accomplish desired results

• Established an Engineering Academy that is actively supported and often led by more than 25 Treasure Coast engineers. This state recognized program serves more than 150 students in grades 8-12.

• Created a partnership with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to enable students to work side by side with world-renowned scientists. This partnership was recognized as one of the Nation’s top 6 alliances.

• Created a partnership with the Smithsonian Institute Marine Station and Indian River Community College that enables students to attend classes at the Marine Station, taught by scientists and teachers, and resulting in dual enrollment credit.

• Created a school in a workplace program with Aegis Communications (A Bell South Marketing Company) that returns dropout students to school. This program has received statewide recognition.

• Increased the enrollment in the International Baccalaureate program from 190 to 298 or 57%, and increased the number of students scoring 4 or more by 41%. The number of IB diplomas has increased by 61%.

• Increased PSAT participation by 409% by requiring all tenth graders to take this examination.

• Increased ACT participation by 58%.

• Increased dual-enrollment participation by 141%.

• Increased FCAT scaled scores for the grade levels that were tested from 1999 to 2002 as follows: reading – (grades 4, 8 and 10) – 6 points, math – (grades 5, 8 and 10) – 13 points, and writing mean scores in 2002: grade four – 3.4; grade eight – 3.8 and grade ten – 3.9. Grades 3,6,7, and 9 scaled scores from 2001 to 2002 for reading remained the same and grades 3,4,6, 7 and 9 for math increased 36 points.

• Increased the graduation rate to 77% (The State average is 67.8%.)

• Decreased the Drop-out rate to 1.3% (The State average is 3.2%)

• Increased the number of high school tech prep academies by 28%.

• Implemented a district-wide balanced reading initiative supported by a 1.6 million dollar Reading First competitive grant.

• Increased the number of 5 Star Schools by 110%. A total of 21 schools received this honor this year.

• Increased the Golden or Silver Volunteer Schools to 100%.

• Increased volunteer hours throughout the district by 8%.

• Contracted with Excel Alternative to operate a 6<=*^-12^ grade alternative school that provides hope and promise to 150 students who have been unsuccessful in traditional school settings

• Decreased student expulsions by 76%.

• Increased Advanced Placement enrollment from 13 classes to 22 classes, and enrollment from 287 to 480.

• Established partnership with Florida on Line High School so students can earn course credits online.

• Created an internship program at the USDA Agricultural Research Center that has resulted in students working at the Center and learning firsthand about government directed agricultural research.

• Committed to finding the resources so students can further their education, St. Lucie seniors have earned $11,000,000 in scholarships and over 30 athletic scholarships last year.

• Utilized sound business strategy and partnered with the county to build a joint-use regional football stadium that saved the school board facility dollars and provided a space for several schools and many groups to host events.

• Instituted a five-year technology plan that has resulted in each classroom having 6 internet connections and by July 2003 fiber upgrades will enable significantly higher speed access to the district’s 8740 computers. A federal grant will fund 70% of the cost. St. Lucie West Middle — honored as one of the top 100 wired schools in the Nation.

• Committed to the National Board program and ensure that appropriate resources are available to assist teachers in the process. St. Lucie is proud of their 52 National Board-Certified Teachers.

• Established the Seniors-on-line program. This collaboration pairs 250 senior citizens with elementary, middle and high school students and is a heart-warming example of the youth leading the elderly to learn computer skills.

• Created a community/school district agreement that enables community groups to use district facilities at minimal or no cost.

• Led the construction program of $150 million dollars that included the building or rebuilding of eight schools. All projects were completed on time, under budget, beyond expectation, and without litigation.

• Received more than $6.8 million dollars in School Infrastructure Thrift (SIT) Awards because of cost efficiencies with construction projects.

• Completed the Chief Executive Officer Leadership Development Program achieving the highest rating level.

• Selected as an inaugural member of the Bell South Superintendents Network composed of 29 Superintendents from the Southeastern part of the United States.

• Testified before the Senate Select Committee on Education regarding the impact of the Governor’s budget on school district operations.

• Represented Superintendents at the FCAT Passing Score Committee Meeting.

• Chaired a committee that worked with Governor Bush on teacher recruitment issues.


Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Professional Development and Administrative Services, Osceola County School District, Kissimmee, Florida

Served on the Cabinet for two different Superintendents, and led the human resource functions of a rapidly growing and diverse district of 26,000 students and 3200 employees (1990- Responsibilities included the recruitment, selection, induction, training and recognition of all staff, instructional and professional support. Responsible for the work of the following departments:

Professional Development, Community Relations, Student Services, Transportation, Strategic Planning, Management Information Systems and Facilities. Served as the School Board’s Chief Negotiator.

Significant Accomplishments

• Negotiated and oversaw to completion the district’s most significant public/private sector business alliance between The Disney Development Company, Stetson University and the Osceola School District. This alliance resulted in a contribution to the district of more than 18 million dollars in land and capital, 5 million dollars in enhancement operating funds and 1550 training days per year for 10 years for Osceola County teachers.

• Appointed by the Deputy Commissioner of Education to serve on a state committee to evaluate the classification system used by school districts for reporting and classifying personnel. This committee’s input resulted in legislation that clarified personnel classifications so comparisons between districts would be consistent.

• Organized and carried out United Way campaigns that increased contributions by 400%.

Served as an advisor to a study entitled “K-12 Education and Educational Technology” which was prepared for the U.S. Air Force (May 1996). The work with this select group of technology gurus vastly expanded my knowledge of technology, positively influenced the technology plan for the district and informed the educational field.

Championed the collaboration between the Osceola School District and the Chamber of Commerce to jointly fund and undertake a Strategic Planning process. This initiative helped set the vision and formulate a proactive, goal setting stance that valued input by all stakeholders.  Envisioned, planned and implemented the most comprehensive educational event in the history of public education in that county. Working with the city’s Chambers of Commerce, this sell-out event for 1200 attendees, recognized teachers and professional support employees and met our goal to recognize success, unite business and education, and showcase students.

Initiated the District’s first Employee Assistance Program that provided confidential individual and family assistance at no charge for all stakeholders. This service continually received positive feedback.

Led the change process between the School Board and the Teachers Association as they moved from adversaries to stakeholders who work harmoniously to settle contract language expeditiously.

Served as a contributing author to School Law for the Florida Educator written by Dr. Ken Murray. This text is used in colleges throughout Florida.

Envisioned the Osceola School District as a district fully accredited by the Southern Association of Schools. Shared thoughts with the Superintendent and championed the process. This commitment to the SACS process resulted in all schools receiving accreditation, an accomplishment that continues today.

Served on state management study teams and made organizational recommendations to improve effectiveness in twelve Florida school districts.

Served on state school plant survey teams and made recommendations to two Florida school districts.


Adjunct Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

Served as an adjunct professor for the Personnel and Labor Relations course offered by the School of Education. Responsible for creating a learning environment that facilitated optimum growth for Doctoral level students in the areas of collective bargaining, collaborative decision making and labor relations.


Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Osceola County District Schools, Kissimmee, Florida

Served as the instructional leader for all educational programs, early childhood through adult education classes. Worked with educators to develop the district’s first K-12 curriculum alignment for all subject areas. I was also responsible for the following departments: Student Services, Exceptional Student Education, Chapter I and Migrant Programs, Elementary, Middle and High School Programs, ESOL and Intensive English, Instructional Media and Technology, Vocational and Community Education and Dropout Prevention/Alternative Programs.


Director of Student Services

Consolidated the pupil personnel services functions of guidance, parent complaint/resolution services, counseling, testing, attendance/social work, occupational exploration, and psychological services into one efficient department.


Assistant Principal, Beaumont Middle School, Kissimmee, Florida

Responsible for curriculum and instructional strategies, teacher observation and evaluation, community relations, student discipline, and served as principal in his absence.


Curriculum Assistant, Beaumont Middle School, Kissimmee, Florida

Responsible for leading the curricular transition from a junior high school to a middle school that was so positive that it continues today.


Geography Teacher, Osceola Junior High School, Kissimmee, Florida


Substitute Social Studies Teacher, Edgewater High School, Orlando, Florida

Major presentations

2002 Florida Public Charter School Conference, Orlando, Florida, ‘Building Relationships”

2002 County Agriculture Extension Planning Session, Ft. Pierce, Florida, Facilitated the planning process

2002 Florida School Board Association FAU Meeting, “The Challenge of the School Board Chairmanship”

2001 National School Board Association, San Diego, California, “School Choice”

2001 Florida School Board Association, Tallahassee, Florida, New Board Member Training

2000 International Association of County and City Managers, Cincinnati, Ohio, “Intergovernmental Alliances”

1999 Public Schools Choice Conference, Bradenton, Florida, ‘Parental Choice”

1999 Florida School Board Association Fall Meeting, “The Challenge of the School Board Chairmanship”

1999 7th Annual Attendance Symposium, St. Petersburg, Florida, ‘Improving Attendance”

1997 Monroe County School Board, Key West, Florida, “Moving Toward Collaborative Bargaining^

1996 Stephen F. Covey International Symposium, Salt Lake City, Utah, “Disney’s New Public School and Teaching Academy, and the Covey Leadership Center”

1996 Florida Educational Negotiators, “School Based Budgeting”

1995 Florida Educational Negotiators, “The Union Representation Election Process – Who Will Represent Your Employees?”

1994 Florida Association of Personnel Administrators, “Celebration School and Teaching Academy”

1994 Florida Association of Personnel Administrators, ‘Implementing Continuous Employment for Non-Instructional Personnel

1994 Florida Commissioner of Education Executive Steering Committee, “Teachers Training Teachers”

1993 Florida School Board Association, Resolution or Impasse”

1993 Florida Educational Standards Commission, “Teachers Training Teachers”

1992 Florida Educational Negotiators Training Conference, “Bargaining Basics”

1991 Florida Risk Management Association, “The Role of the Risk Manager^

1989 Florida Educational Negotiators Training Conference, “Early Retirement Programs that Work”

Specialized Training

Chief Executive Officer Leadership Development Program -completed 2001 Master Board of Distinction Training

Marilyn Burns Math Solutions Training for Administrators

Specialized training in media relations by BellSouth Communications

Technology Training, “Power to Lead” by Bell South

Bell South Superintendents Network Training activities

Center for Leadership in School Reform Leadership Training

Renaissance Superintendents Forum

Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“Community Vision” Trained Facilitator

Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce – Inaugural Class — “Leadership Osceola”

Total Quality Management — Crosby and Associates

Florida Association of School Superintendents -(FADSS) – Leadership Training for School Executives

ACE Training – Affecting Change in Education

Communicator Involvement

Board of Directors of:

United Way of St. Lucie County

St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce

Economic Development Council

Workforce Development

St. Lucie County Education Foundation

St. Lucie County Readiness Coalition, past chairman

St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council

Executive Round Table, regional representative

Rotary Club of St. Lucie County – Paul Harris Fellow


Florida Atlantic University College of Education Advisory Council

Bowl for Kids’ Sake Honorary Chairman

Professional Organizations

American Association of School Administrators

Florida Association of District School Superintendents Board of Directors

Phi Delta Kappa National Educational Fraternity

BellSouth Leadership Network

Urban Superintendents of America Association

Renaissance Superintendents Forum


2002 Florida Association of School Administrator’s Lamp of Knowledge Award

2001 Florida Superintendent of the Year

2001 Medallion of Excellence Award from Senator Ken Pruitt

1999 Conservation Alliance Award for dedication to conservation and the environment

1981 Outstanding Young Educator by the Jaycees.


Home Address:  Route #9, Box 506-D Springfield, MO 65802 

Business Address:  40 N. Jefferson Springfield Public Schools Springfield, MO 65809

(417) 831-4659 (417) 864-3841


Full-Time Experience Superintendent 1981-present

Superintendent of Schools, Springfield, Missouri – a community of about 150,000 people with five high schools, eight junior high schools, 40 elementary schools, and one area vocational-technical school serving about 3,500 students.

Superintendent 1977-1981

Superintendent of Schools, Bibb County Public Schools, Macon, Georgia – a community of about 140,000 people with six high schools, six junior high schools, 37 elementary schools, and an area vocational-technical school serving about 26,000 students (53% Black – 47% White).

Various positions with the Milwaukee 1968-1977 Public Schools 1965-1967 1961-1964

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – a community of about 700,000 with 16 high schools, 20 junior high schools, and 125 elementary schools serving between 110,000 and 133,000 students. 


—Coordinator of state-funded desegregation

-inter-district student transfer program

—Acting Executive Director of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

—Curriculum Specialist – Mathematics

—Mathematics teacher

Systems Engineer – International Business 1967-1968 Machines Corporation (IBM)

Guidance Counselor – Department of Defense, 1964-1965 Tokyo, Japan

Related Part-Time Experiences

School Board Member – Germantown, Wisconsin, 1968-71, 1974-77 (Elected to office in community of residence.)

Associate Project Director, Marquette University, 1975-76 (Conducted graduate university course for teachers in curriculum implementation.)

Project Coordinator, University of Wisconsin, 1975-1976 (Conducted graduate university courses in teacher in- service.) 

Guest Lecturer, Marquette University, 1967-68 (Taught undergraduate calculus courses.)


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Florida State University, 1974 Educational Administration

Master of Science (M.S.) Marquette University, 1967 Mathematics

Master of Education (M.Ed.) Marquette University, 1963   Education-Guidance and Counseling

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Marquette University, 1961 Mathematics and Education

Other Graduate Level Work Vanderbilt University, Advanced Study Program for Superintendents, 1983-1990; Mercer University, 1981; University of Colorado, 1974; Michigan State University, 1971; University of San Francisco, 1970; Marquette University, 1969; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 1969; University of Maryland, 1964; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1963.


Superintendent of the Year: Selected as Missouri’s Superintendent of the Year as State’s nominee for AASA’s National Superintendent of the Year, 1990.

“The Executive Educator” magazine. Selected as one of the country’s top 100 school administrators. One of only three superintendents in the country selected for this honor, each of the three times it was done on a national basis (1984,1987, 1990). Also featured in a profile article in the May, 1986 issue.

Executive Facilitator: Chosen by the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, under contract to the State of Florida, to be trained and to serve as mentor for one of Florida’s 48 elected superintendents, 1989-1991.

Selected by Missouri Association of Educational Office Personnel as its candidate for NAEOP Educational Administrator of the Year (1989).

Selected by the Kennedy Center for the Arts as one of eight superintendents in the country to be honored for outstanding contributions to arts education (1989).

Consortium for Educational Excellence: Selected as one of thirty superintendents across the country to respond officially to “A Nation at Risk.” The consortium was under the auspices of Vanderbilt University and funded through Secretary Terrel Bell’s office as one of his discretionary programs (1983).

Danforth Fellow: Selected one of ten superintendents in the country to lead a ten-person team for his school district in a year-long professional growth seminar with the support and coordination of the Danforth Foundation.

Advanced Study Program – Vanderbilt University: Selected as one of about twenty superintendents to participate in an ongoing study of current educational issues under the direction of Dean Willis Hawley and Dr. Linton Deck (1982-1989).  

Family of the Year Award: The Paul J. Hagerty family was selected by the Macon Service League as Family of the Year for 1979. Through this honor, the Hagerty family went on to be selected as Family of the Year for Georgia’s Sixth District and was honored at the state level.

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Competitive Grants and Awards:

Served as Associate Director and Instructor at Marquette University for a project funded to train high school teachers in implementing new curriculum materials (1975-76)

Served as Project Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a project funded to train high school teachers in implementing new curriculum materials (1975-76)

Selected to direct the activities and training for supervisory interns as part of their doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin (1970-74)

Selected competitively as participant in the following NSF funded projects:

Resource Personnel Workshop on the Computer as an Instructional Tool and Modeling Device (University of Colorado, 1974)

Academic Year Institute (Florida State University, 1972-73)

Workshop to Train Inservice Leaders for Elementary Mathematics Programs (Michigan State University, 1971)

Axiomatic Approach to High School Geometry (University of San Francisco, 1970)

Sequential Summer Institute (Marquette University, 1964-68)


Springfield United Way – Member, Board of Directors. 1982-1984; Division Chairman, 1983; Chairman of Board, 1988

Springfield Chamber of Commerce – Board Member, 1989-present

Springfield Rotary Club – Member, 1981-present

Safety Council of Springfield – Member of Board of Directors, 1982-Present, President of Board, 1991-92

KOZK – Public television station – Member of Board of Directors, 1986-90

Leadership Springfield – Member, Board of Directors, 1985-present

Community Foundation of Springfield – Advisory Board Member, 1988-present

Springfield Public Schools Foundation – Board Member, 1990-present

Springfield Boys Club – Member, Board of Directors, 1981-87

Junior Achievement of Middle America, Inc. – Member, Board of Directors, 1981-present

PTA – Honorary Life Member in National PTA, Missouri PTA, and Georgia PTA

Macon Chamber of Commerce – Member, Board of Directors, 1977-81

Macon-Bibb County Board of Health – Member, Board, 1977-81

Macon United Way – Member, Board of Trustees, 1979-81; Division Chairman, 1981

Museum of Arts and Sciences – Member of Board of Trustees -1977-81

Central Georgia Council, Boy Scouts of America – Vice-President, 1979-80

Macon-Bibb County Beautification-Clean Community Commission Member, Board of Directors -1977-81

REFERENCES A current set of credentials is enclosed. It contains all letters originally in my placement file at Florida State University plus letters written by Springfield Board members over the years as they leave the Board.

In addition, a list of Springfield’s community leaders is available for current up-to-date opinion of my performance.


Selected Accomplishments


MACON, GA 1977-81


Community Support:

Magnet School

•1st Day of School:

Fiscal Management:


Negotiated a desegregation plan ending sixteen years of litigation. Re-established community support for the public schools after years of neglect and lack of confidence; established an Adopt-A-School program through Chamber of Commerce.

Established Georgia’s first elementary magnet school.

Eliminated an abbreviated school day for first grade students.

Established the practice of obtaining smooth approval of budget by County

Commissioners contrary to previous history of stormy and lengthy confrontations.

Established various communication instruments (Board Briefs, Staff Bulletin, Quarterly Newsletter to parents and community).




Magnet Program:

Collective Bargaining;

Executive Director

Negotiated and coordinated desegregation student exchange programs between Milwaukee and its 17 suburbs.

Developed Milwaukee’s first high school career specialty program as part of an intra-district desegregation effort.

Served as a member of the School Board’s negotiating team; survived three strikes in five years, the longest being seventeen school days.

Directed and supervised activities and responsibilities of central office departmental staff of 128 people.

GERMANTOWN, WI 1968-71,1974-77

Elected School Board Member

Served as school district treasurer for one year.

Served as school district clerk for three years.

Served as chairperson of the district policy committee for two years.

Served as a member of the district’s negotiating committee for four years.

Participated in the search and selection of a new superintendent.


Seminole Superintendent Search title
CMF | Public Media | Issues and Voices that Matter

Carroll McKenney Foundation for Public Media, Inc.

A Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) Publicly Supported Charity. The Seminole County School Board has initiated a search for a new superintendent to replace retiring superintendent Dr. Bill Vogel. In this feature we will discuss the selection process with the search coordinator, SCPS Human Resources Director John Reichert. You will also hear from members of the Community Superintendent Search Advisory Committee who were chosen as community representatives to assist in evaluating the applicants. Mr. Reichert will explain how the public can offer input about the candidates for superintendent. Length: 18:33

(Produced, reported and edited by Desta Horner)


In 1990, Seminole County voters approved a change from an elected to an appointed superintendent for public schools. The school board has the responsibility of selecting the new chief administrator of the district. In 1992, after a national search, Dr. Paul Haggerty was chosen as the first appointed superintendent. He served for 11 years. A second extensive search selected Dr. Bill Vogel who has served for 9 years.

Under Dr. Vogel, the Seminole County School District has been rated A for the last four years, parent surveys show a satisfaction rate of 95%, Seminole County students earned the highest scores of any Central Florida district in FCAT reading and math and the graduation rate exceeds 90%. The excellence of the schools makes Seminole County a magnet for families and businesses moving to the area.

But since 2008 funding for the district has declined. Property tax revenues have shrunk with the drop in home values and state funds per pupil have been reduced dramatically. Since 2008, Seminole County Public Schools have lost $1,039 per pupil in funding. The employees have been reduced by 700 positions including an almost 20% cut in the district office staff. Recent figures show that the current budget shortfall could reach $30 to 40 million. Without new revenues, additional cuts including school closings may be necessary.

These are the conditions both upside and downside that will face the new superintendent. The new leader will manage a budget of $468 million, almost 8,000 employees and 64,000 students. The applicant will be offered a three-year contract with a salary in the $130,000 range and additional benefits.

For the students and families of Seminole County, these challenging circumstances make the selection of the next superintendent a crucial decision with consequences that reach far into the future.

Dr. Wayne Blanton of the Florida School Board Association told the Seminole County school board as they began their search that “there is no more important decision you will make as a school board.”

The school board began the process in Sept of 2011 and will make their final decision in April of 2012.

Rather than hiring an outside consultant to manage the search, the school board selected one of the district’s most experienced administrators to coordinate the process. John Reichart is Director of Human Resources and Personnel Staffing. The board then initiated an advertising campaign to attract qualified applicants. Next, they created the Community Superintendent Search Advisory Committee made up of citizens of organizations and leaders selected by each board member to provide assistance and input. The board will make their final choice from 5 candidate finalists.

At every stage the process is open to the public who may attend meetings of the board, the advisory committee and even request to see the applications. A reception will be held with the 5 finalists so that any resident may come and meet the candidates and share their opinion.


The Seminole County Public School System, located approximately 20 miles north of Orlando, Florida, continues to be an “A”-rated and academically high performing school district as rated by the Florida Department of Education.  This K-12 school district comprises 69 schools with an enrollment of approximately 67,000 students, who are supported by 9,328 employees.  The district has an overall annual operating budget of approximately $554 million dollars.  A diverse student population is enrolled in a wide variety of educational programs that include district-wide and cluster magnet programs at all levels.  These unique programs include but are not limited to Math, Science and Fine Arts magnets, as well as an Academy of Information Technology, Health Careers, and an International Baccalaureate program.  Programs of Emphasis include but are not limited to Institute of Finance, Bioscience Technology, Renewable Energy, Culinary Arts, Entrepreneurship, Cybersecurity, Advanced Manufacturing, Forensic Science & Law Studies, Modeling, Simulation and Analysis, and Teaching, Learning and Leadership.  Seminole County SAT scores continue to be above the state average for the 42nd consecutive year.  For additional information about Seminole County Public Schools, please visit our district website:  www.SCPS.us 

The five-member School Board of Seminole County seeks a Superintendent with a Master’s degree from an accredited institution (earned doctorate preferred), and a minimum of 10 years of executive administrative experience to include administrative experience in a district(s) with a student population of at least 25,000 or in a comparatively-sized government/business organization.  The successful candidate must be eager to lead a high-achieving district, be familiar with the latest research on educational leadership, student achievement and school effectiveness, and have the vision, energy, and financial background to manage a complex organization. 

The position start date is projected to be no later than June 1, 2021.  The Board is prepared to offer, at minimum, a three-year contract with a salary range of $165,000 – $195,000 plus competitive benefits.  Candidates selected as finalists must be available for interviews and district tours during the month of February 2021. 

Candidates must submit the following documents:  1. A resume with a signed cover letter; 2. Verification of credentials, including college transcripts, reflecting the highest degree held. (Copies of transcripts are acceptable but official versions are required prior to an offer of employment.) 3. Three letters of professional recommendation. All application materials referenced must be submitted by email to Superintendent_Search@scps.k12.fl.us no later than the application deadline of November 13, 2020

For additional information related to Seminole County Public Schools or the application process, contact:

Mark Russi, Director, Employee and Governmental Relations / Personnel Services

Seminole County Public Schools 400 East Lake Mary Blvd.  Sanford, FL 32773

Phone:  407.320.0317, Cell:  321.281.7239, Fax:  407.320.0284

Email:  mark_russi@scps.k12.fl.us 

*IMPORTANT NOTICE* All resumes, applications, and other materials submitted for this position are subject to the Florida Public Records Act and “Government in the Sunshine” provisions of Florida law.  The name of applicants and materials submitted by each applicant cannot be held in confidence and are open to the public. Interviews of applicants who are selected as finalists by the School Board will be open to the public. 


The School Board of Seminole County Florida Minutes

February 9, 2021 05:30 PM for Regular Meeting

Board Room 400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.  Sanford, FL 32773

New Business

A. Selection of Next Superintendent

Each School Board member had an opportunity to share their thoughts on both of the Superintendent finalists. After Board member discussion the Chairman opened the floor for nominations. Vice-Chairman Pennock nominated Mr. Chad Farnsworth, seconded by Member Calderone. Member Kraus nominated Ms. Serita Beamon, seconded by Chairman Almond. Hearing both finalists nominated, the Chairman asked the Board Clerk for a roll call vote. Member Sanchez voted for Mr. Farnsworth, Member Kraus voted for Ms. Beamon, Vice-Chairman Pennock voted for Mr. Farnsworth, Member Calderone voted for Mr. Farnsworth, and Chairman Almond voted for Ms. Beamon. By a 3-2 vote Mr. Chad Farnsworth was selected as the next Superintendent of Schools.


B. Superintendent’s Recommendation: That the School Board of Seminole County authorize the School Board Chairman to negotiate an employment contract with the newly selected Superintendent. RESULT: APPROVED [UNANIMOUS] MOVER: Amy Pennock, Vice-Chairman SECONDER: Tina Calderone, Board Member AYES: Almond, Pennock, Calderone, Kraus, Sanchez

XII. Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 6:19 p.m.




(SANFORD, Fla.) On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the School Board of Seminole County, Inc. selected Chad Farnsworth as the new Superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS).  Mr. Farnsworth has 10-years of experience in school and district administration, having most-recently served as the Assistant Superintendent over Human Resources & Employee Relations/Chief of Staff for Lake County Public Schools.  He officially became the 11th Superintendent for the district.  Depending on pending contract negotiations, Mr. Farnsworth will begin sometime in March or April of 2021.


From: Seminole County Public Schools <atthecore@scps.k12.fl.us>

Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 6:04 PM

Subject: In the Zone – SCPS News

To: <charmedmomlife@gmail.com>

Issue #121

SCPS Newsletter

February 11, 2021

Dear SCPS Team,

    As I look back on my years with Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS), I can’t think of a time I’ve been prouder to be part of this amazing team. We’ve been challenged in more ways than we could have imagined possible a year ago. Despite these extraordinary times, we continue to work together to further the quality education that we’ve all come to expect from SCPS.

The honors continue to roll in: SCPS isn’t just meeting expectations, we’re surpassing them! We are the only district in the state exceeding the national course enrollment rate for physics, we lead the state in calculus enrollment, and we are the highest ranked district in the STEM Career Prep Index. Perhaps the greatest indicator of a job well done is that our Grad Rate for the 2019-2020 School Year was 94.5%! A few reasons to be excited about this Grad Rate, a Pre-K – 12th grade accomplishment:

The Highest Grad Rate EVER for SCPS!

#1 out of all Central Florida districts

#1 out of the 17 largest districts

#4 out of all Florida districts

An increase of 1.7% above the previous year (92.8%, 2018-2019)

Remains 4.5% above the state average (90%);

This is a tremendous accomplishment and a team effort!

Thank you to all our teachers, staff, and administrators for all your hard work in helping make SCPS a Premiere National School District and one of the VERY BEST in Florida. A very special thank you to our Seminole County families because our success begins with your support and partnership. Together, we guide our students to succeed in and out of the classroom.

I’m extremely proud of all we have accomplished. Thank you for allowing me to play a role in shaping this district, the teams we have in place, the education we provide, and the lives we’ve touched along the way. Nothing makes me prouder than to see our students succeed!


SCPS Selects New Superintendent

    On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the School Board of Seminole County selected Chad Farnsworth as the new Superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS). Mr. Farnsworth has 10 years of experience in school and district administration, currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Employee Relations/Chief of Staff for Lake County Public Schools. He officially became the 11th Superintendent for the district.


Seminole County Public Schools – On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the School Board of Seminole County, Inc. selected Chad Farnsworth as the new Superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS). Mr. Farnsworth has 10-years of experience in school and district administration, having most-recently served as the Assistant Superintendent over Human Resources & Employee Relations/Chief of Staff for Lake County Public Schools. He officially became the 11th Superintendent for the district. Depending on pending contract negotiations, Mr. Farnsworth will begin sometime in March or April of 2021.





From: Bedsole, Carolyn <carolyn_bedsole@scps.k12.fl.us>

Sent: Thursday, July 8, 2021 9:46 AM

To: foiarequest06@gmail.com

Cc: Pavgouzas, Jessica H. <jessica_pavgouzas@scps.k12.fl.us>; Bedsole, Carolyn <carolyn_bedsole@scps.k12.fl.us>

Subject: RE: FOIA request

Good morning, there was a meeting between Dr. Griffin and Velma Williams on February 12, at 3pm. No notes were taken during this meeting which took place at Westside Community Center.  Dr. Griffin also has no record of any phone calls.

Sincerely, Carolyn

Carolyn Bedsole

I.S. Project Manager / Records Management Services

Seminole County Public Schools

Information Services Department

400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.

Sanford, Florida 32773

Phone: (407) 320-0466

Fax: (407) 320-0469




On Friday, February 12, 2021, three days after Farnsworth was hired, Walt Griffin had a face-to-face meeting with Velma Williams (search committee member, former Sanford city commissioner, retired SCPS teacher, community leader) at the Sanford Boys and Girls Club.  Ms. Williams had been very outspoken about “doing the right thing” and advocating for Serita Beamon as the next superintendent. She also spoke passionately during public comments at the 2/23/board meeting in favor of Beamon as the superintendent. See Exhibit E1(Meeting between Velma Williams and Walt Griffin).  The threat of DOJ involvement again was a real concern; SCPS had been under DOJ supervision from 1962 to 2006 when they were granted Unitary Status.

The next day, February 13th, Dr. Griffin called Amy Lockhart, Seminole County Commissioner and chair of the Superintendent Search Committee. He advised Ms. Lockhart to hold off on preparation of an introductory video for Farnsworth at the Seminole County Chamber’s “State of the County” event on 2/24/21.  He stated, “I think I have one or two board members that may rescind their vote”.  

During the week of 2/12-19, Dr. Griffin called board member Abby Sanchez concerning her vote.  During the school board meeting on March 23, 2021, Abby Sanchez stated “We just need to heal. We have such division in this county right now, and it’s so thick and there’s so much going on in this world…… So, let’s pull it together and be a community that we are. Seminole County is ranked number one for so many reasons and because of our schools and because of our fabulous employees and teachers. We need to do all of us…. Dr. Griffin, we may have had some words. But I forgave him…”

Board member Amy Pennock was told by Walt Griffin there were going to be some changes on the agenda but was not told what they were. 

On Monday, 2/15, the board clerk, Jill Mahramus was told by Walt Griffin to be prepared for a change of schedule.  She called the board members to announce that the agenda might change. 

On February 19th, Griffin met with Barbara Kirby Bentley, who had prepared a statement for public comment time at the board meeting on 2/23/21.  See Exhibit E2 (Griffin’s Calendar).

Between February 12 and February 23, Walt Griffin 1) met with Velma Williams (a Beamon supporter), 2) halted the introduction video for the county event, 3) pressured a board member who had voted for Farnsworth to the point of tears, and 4) prepared the board clerk for a possible change in the agenda at the 2/23 board meeting.  Griffin acted as a conduit (a violation of Sunshine Law) between board members coordinating rescission of the vote to hire Chad Farnsworth as superintendent.  As Tina Calderone stated in the board meeting on 3/1/21, “Dr. Griffin is so well respected… when Dr. Griffin speaks, we listen.”

On February 25th (two days after the vote to rescind), Lowman Oliver (Pastor Emeritus, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and Spokesperson, African-American Concerned Citizens of Seminole County) submitted a request for all emails of board members pertaining to the hiring of the superintendent but cancelled the request as soon as Ms. Beamon was elected on March 1, 2021. 

In the Orlando Sentinel on February 24, 2021: “You missed a great opportunity” to “make history for both women and people of color,” said Velma Williams, a former Sanford city commissioner and retired teacher who served on the board’s superintendent search committee.

Dr. Griffin had introduced Serita Beamon as his favorite for superintendent.  This is his press interview with News 6:  Griffin said he did speak to some members of the superintendent search committee which was formed to narrow it down to the top candidates.  “I had spoken to three of them, two of which called me. But I think the most difficult part is because I have mentored and worked with Mrs. Beamon for so many years, people saw me with her and people know that I had been working with her for this position,” Griffin said. “But I feel that everything I did was appropriate and I’m ready for us to move on.”

News 6 asked if Beamon was Griffin’s candidate of choice.  “She was. She would have been because I prepared her for it,” Griffin said. 



F1 – The School Board then heard public comment. The following people addressed the Board: Dr. Anna-Marie Cote, Marjorie Murray, Dr. Barbara Kirby-Bentley, Pamela James, Philip Kaprow, Davian Hampton, Lowman Oliver, Dr. Velma Williams. Katie Vail submitted her comments via email to be read into the record.


“0164 – NOTICE OF MEETINGS – From SCPS School Board policies 

Pursuant to State law, the School Board shall give notice of public meetings, hearings, and workshops in the following ways:

  1. by publication in a newspaper of general circulation;
  2. by posting on the district’s website not less than seven (7) days before the public meeting, hearing, or workshop;
  3. by mail to all persons who have made requests for advance notice of the Board’s proceedings, and to organizations representing persons affected by any proposed policy; and
  4. by posting in appropriate places so that particular classes of persons to whom an intended action is directed may be notified.

EXHIBIT F4- ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER. https://www.dummies.com/careers/business-skills/roberts-rules-for-rescinding-or-amending-something-previously-adopted/

The notice posted shall include a general statement of the general subject matter to be considered.”

From Roberts’ Rules of Order – “Some motions can’t be amended or rescinded:  

  • Motions subject to the motion to Reconsider: Calling to rescind or amend is unnecessary if you can simply call up the motion to Reconsider, which has been previously moved.
  • Motions that have already been carried out and that cannot be undone: If you voted to repaint the church, it’s too late to rescind the motion after the church has been repainted.
  • Motions that have been adopted to accept resignations or actions electing or expelling a person from membership or office (if the member is present or has been notified): After a resignation has been accepted or a membership terminated by expulsion, the resigning or expelled person can be reinstated only by following the procedures for membership admission or election to office.

Rescinding an election requires either a provision in the bylaws or specific procedures for removal from office.”



• Inspires trust, has high levels of self-confidence and optimism. Models high standards of integrity and personal performance.

Displays strong commitment to a “student first” philosophy in all decisions. 

• Demonstrate commitment to ensure equity for all students.

• Displays sensitivity to the needs of our culturally diverse communities, students, and workforce.

• Possesses a strong belief in, and has the ability to develop mutually beneficial relationships with the business community.

Promotes sound fiscal practices and management of district resources, including appropriate participation of others in planning and decision-making.

Possesses the proven ability to enhance student performance, especially in identifying and closing or narrowing the gaps in student achievement. 

• Eager to lead a high-achieving and premier national school district, familiar with the latest research on educational leadership, student achievement and school effectiveness, and possesses the vision and energy to manage a complex organization.


1001.51 Duties and responsibilities of district school superintendent. —The district school superintendent shall exercise all powers and perform all duties listed below and elsewhere in the law, provided that, in so doing, he or she shall advise and counsel with the district school board. The district school superintendent shall perform all tasks necessary to make sound recommendations, nominations, proposals, and reports required by law to be acted upon by the district school board. All such recommendations, nominations, proposals, and reports by the district school superintendent shall be either recorded in the minutes or shall be made in writing, noted in the minutes, and filed in the public records of the district school board. It shall be presumed that, in the absence of the record required in this section, the recommendations, nominations, and proposals required of the district school superintendent were not contrary to the action taken by the district school board in such matters.





Lone Seminole County School Board Member Gets It – Failures Exposed in Superintendent Selection Process 


Seminole Co., Florida –

Schools are supposed to be in place for educational purposes.  What did the students learn from the recent events involving the hiring of a new School Superintendent? We pose this question because of one board member’s comments.

“I have reached the conclusion that, as a body, we have failed my kids, and we have failed your kids.” (Amy Pennock – Seminole County School Board Member)

We agree with Ms. Pennock’s statement above and while she does raise numerous other concerns, we are going to focus on the troubling findings in our short time looking into the school’s process of hiring a new Superintendent and explain how those actions tie directly to the above comment from board member Pennock.

School boards adopt policies.  Those policies are supposed to be enforced and followed. When they are not enforced and followed it points to a disregard for the rules, a common problem in today’s society.

The School board adopted Robert’s Rules of Order.  The school board violated their policy when they voted to rescind the vote where a candidate for superintendent was hired.  Violated, because Robert’s Rules of Order 35:6 (c) forbids rescinding a vote when the person elected was officially notified of the action.  Even if a vote to rescind was allowed, in the situation at Seminole County, it would require a 2/3rds vote to pass, which it did not, yet the school legal counsel said it could be done. (minutes from the meeting)

The messages sent to students and taxpayers in this district?

  • The School Board is not bound by any policy
  • Conflicts of interest don’t matter – The legal counsel for the board provided legal advice, deficient in our opinion, that directly benefited his superior.

The requirements for the next superintendent listed two key items.

  • Master’s Degree required; earned doctorate degree from an accredited college or university is preferred.
  • Ten years of successful administration/managerial experience required.

The person now hired, Sarita Beamon, does not have a Master’s Degree according to her candidate application.  While she does have a Juris Doctorate, that is not the same as a Masters or Doctorate Degree.  Nor does her application appear to disclose ten years of administration/managerial experience, successful or otherwise.

The message sent to students and taxpayers in this district?

  • Criteria for hiring does not matter.

The board policy on employment of the Superintendent has an interesting paragraph worth noting.

“Any candidate’s intentional misstatement of fact material to his/her qualifications for employment or the determination of his/her salary shall be considered by this Board to constitute grounds for his/her dismissal. “

Ms. Beamon states a fact material to her qualifications on her application.

“Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist – Education Law

One of 52 attorneys recognized by the Florida Bar as an expert in Education Law”

Did the Florida Bar recognize her as an expert in Education law?  We say no, they did not.

What they recognize regarding Ms. Beamon is she is Board Certified in Education Law. By claiming the Florida Bar recognized her as an expert it appears to misrepresent the plain language from the Bar.   “Board-certified attorneys are the only Florida lawyers allowed to identify themselves as Florida Bar Board Certified “specialists” or “experts” or to use “B.C.S.” to indicate Board Certified Specialist.”

We raised this issue directly with Ms. Beamon and she has refused to answer our questions.  Specifically, we asked, “Isn’t it true the Florida Bar only recognizes you as Board Certified, which allows you to identify as an expert”?” 

Prior to publication, we gave her another chance to answer our questions on this matter and last night we received this response, which you will see has nothing to do with the question we raised.

“On Monday, March 1, 2021, the School Board of Seminole County, Inc. voted to select Serita Beamon as the new Superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS).  Mrs. Beamon has more than 16-years of experience with SCPS, previously serving as the School Board Attorney/Executive Director of Legal Services and has been a part of SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin’s District Leadership Team (Cabinet) for many years.  She officially becomes the 11th Superintendent for the district and begins her tenure on July 1, 2021.”

We also gave her a chance to respond to Uniserv Executive Director Chardo Richardson’s quote found in this article. 

“Uniserv Executive Director Chardo Richardson was on the search committee and was one of the 21 members who made a recommendation. All 21 supported Beamon, whereas only 13 endorsed Farnsworth.”

“She was recognized by the Florida Bar as one of the top leading experts,” Richardson details from his Altamonte office. “I believe she was top 56 in the state of Florida leading experts in public education law.”

Ms. Beamon refused to respond; however, we did receive a response to the above, through the school media person.

“In response to your recent email inquiry to Mrs. Beamon, you’ll need to follow-up with Mr. Richardson regarding any statements or claims he made as we wouldn’t be able to substantiate any claims, interpretation, or context of an interview we weren’t part of.”

So not only is Ms. Beamon not willing to answer our questions, she refuses to repudiate what is clearly a false claim by Mr. Richardson, a member of the search committee who supported her hiring.  We reached out to Mr. Richardson but have not received any response.

So there is no confusion, the Florida Bar does not ‘rate” the Board-Certified attorneys in Florida.  So, for Mr. Richardson to claim he believes she was top 56 in the state raises the question as to why he believes something that is clearly not true.  Where would he draw the opinion Ms. Beamon is recognized by the Florida Bar as one of the top leading experts?  Was it from her application which appears to misrepresent the truth of the matter?

In communicating my concerns on this matter to the Florida Bar, they pointed me to the Florida Rule 4-7.14 POTENTIALLY MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS, the applicable portion below.

RULE 4-7.14 POTENTIALLY MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS. A lawyer may not engage in potentially misleading advertising. (a) Potentially Misleading Advertisements. Potentially misleading advertisements include, but are not limited to:

(1) advertisements that are subject to varying reasonable interpretations, 1 or more of which would be materially misleading when considered in the relevant context

(2) advertisements that are literally accurate, but could reasonably mislead a prospective client regarding a material fact;

While we agree Ms. Beamon is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Education Law, we do not agree that the Florida Bar recognizes her as an expert.  While her application may be literally accurate as it relates to being board certified, we believe claiming the Bar recognizes her as an expert could reasonably mislead the School Board and those on the search committee, such as Chardo Richardson as evidenced by his false assertions.  The way it is written appears to use the Florida Bar as an endorsement.

The message sent to the students and taxpayers of the district?

  • You don’t have to answer questions when you’re in charge.
  • You don’t have to be clear on your job applications.
  • It’s OK to stay silent when others misrepresent the truth about your credentials.

As this relates to Mr. Farnsworth, the person first selected, we find one particular statement quoted from his letter in this article to be disturbing.

“Farnsworth wrote he “sat back in silence out of respect for the (hiring) process, though I have found (the board’s) process to be terribly flawed.”

Staying silent solves nothing.  When you know a process is flawed, speak up. While Farnsworth clearly has a legal recourse he could take against the School Board, one must ask, do you want leaders that sit silent when they know things are broken?

That question applies to Beamon as well.  Let’s not forget, she was the legal counsel for the board and has said nothing to our knowledge about the violation of policy by the board she is supposed to be representing, nor has she been willing to correct false statements made by members of the search committee regarding her alleged recognition by the Florida Bar.

Ms. Pennock appears to be the lone board member who has recognized the importance of identifying failures that directly impact the future of this school district.

We agree with her call for a full investigation into the matter surrounding the hiring of the school’s next superintendent, which we agree with Mr. Farnsworth, was terribly flawed.

Our suggestion to the School Board:

  • Terminate your legal counsel, which in our opinion was a key factor contributing to the mess you find yourselves in.
  • Question each board member under oath of perjury regarding discussions with other board members outside of a meeting, including emails, texts, and phone calls.
  • Consider following your own policy on the employment of the Superintendent and determine whether or not misrepresentations were made on the applications.

Failure to address these matters is sure to teach the students that rules don’t matter.


Exhibit G7 – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Legal Services

Exhibit G8 – Employment Contract



This Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “AGREEMENT”) made and entered into this XX day of XX, 2021, by and between THE SCHOOL BOARD OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, a body corporate existing under the law of the State of Florida, (hereinafter referred to as the “BOARD”) and Serita Duhart BEAMON (hereinafter referred to as “BEAMON”) specifically provides as follows:


 1.1.      That the BOARD, in accordance with a motion duly adopted at its official meeting held on February 23, 2021, has the duly vested authority to employ and does hereby employ BEAMON, as its District Superintendent of Schools (hereinafter referred to as “Superintendent”), pursuant to Section 1001.50, Florida Statutes, commencing on April 1, 2021 and ending at midnight on June 30, 2024, unless automatically extended as provide in Section 5.1 of this agreement.

1.2       The BOARD and BEAMON mutually agree that during the aforesaid term of this AGREEMENT, BEAMON shall perform the duties of Superintendent in and for the School District of Seminole County, Florida, as prescribed by the Constitution, laws, and administrative rules of the State of Florida, policies of the BOARD, and the terms and conditions of this AGREEMENT.


2.1       BEAMON’S responsibilities, duties and functions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

2.1.1    Serve as the Secretary to the BOARD and Chief Executive Officer of the School District as prescribed by Florida law and BOARD policy. BEAMON shall be delegated all powers and duties necessary to the efficient management and administration of the district to the fullest extent permitted by law, including the hiring, terminating, organizing, reorganizing, assigning, or reassigning of administrative staff of the district deemed necessary to effect positive change for students within the district and such other duties and responsibilities prescribed by Section 1001.51, Florida Statutes. BEAMON shall also be responsible for providing internal monitoring data and reports as required by BOARD policies. 

2.1.2    Represent the interests of the BOARD and the District in day-to-day engagement with parents, other citizens, community organizations and governmental agencies.

2.1.3    Perform other duties and functions as assigned or required by BOARD policies and Florida and Federal laws.

3.         EVALUATION

 3.1       BEAMON’S annual evaluation shall be based on a periodic review of the BOARD’S priorities and goals. A copy of the most recent evaluation form presented to its Superintendent is attached as “Exhibit A,” and shall serve as a model for future evaluations.

3.1.1    The BOARD shall advise BEAMON in writing of those areas of BEAMON’S performance deserving commendation, recommendation or needing improvement, prior to October 1, 2021 and prior to October 1 of each subsequent year during the term of this AGREEMENT. A copy of the final, written evaluation shall be provided to BOARD members and BEAMON.   BOARD members may also meet individually with BEAMON to share their perspectives on the evaluation.

 3.1.2    It shall be the sole responsibility of BEAMON to advise the BOARD of the appropriate timelines and to schedule the meetings necessary to complete the evaluation process in a timely manner.


4.1.      Salary    

4.1.1.   Base salary. The annual salary for BEAMON, during the term of this AGREEMENT, shall be One Hundred Ninety and No/00 ($190,000) per year. The base salary amount may be subject to annual review of the BOARD at the time administrators’ salaries are reviewed but shall be no less than the initial salary under this AGREEMENT.

4.1.2    The base salary set forth in Section 4.1.1 shall be increased during the term of this Agreement, by the same percentage of the base salary as any increase on the base that is received by teachers pursuant to collective bargaining. Any such increase shall be retroactive to July 1 of the year in which such increase becomes applicable.

4.1.3    All payment shall be in equal installments at the same intervals as the district’s other administrative personnel are paid.

4.1.4    The Superintendent’s compensation and other benefits as herein established shall not be diminished by any provision of law hereinafter enacted by the State of Florida and in no event shall be less than the total compensation as determined hereby and in accordance with the laws of Florida in effect as of the effective day of this AGREEMENT.

4.1.5    If applicable, that portion of BEAMON’S annual compensation paid from state funds will not exceed limits set forth in section 1001.50(5), Florida Statutes.  The balance of the Superintendent’s annual compensation, if applicable, will be paid using income from local funding sources.

4.1.6    HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS: In addition to other benefits under this AGREEMENT, the BOARD shall provide to BEAMON, during the entire term of this AGREEMENT, such health, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability insurance, life insurance and other flexible benefits as are generally made available to 12-month administrative employees of the district.  The cost of all such benefits shall be paid for by the BOARD to the extent that same are paid by the BOARD for other 12-month administrative employees.  In addition, the BOARD shall offer the same health, dental and vision insurance benefits available to BEAMON’S eligible family members on the same basis as such benefits are offered to other 12-month administrative employees’ family members.   

4.2       ANNUITY: BOARD shall provide an annual contribution to a tax-sheltered annuity, chosen by BEAMON, and in her name, in the amount of Fifteen Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($15,000.00) per year. Said contribution shall be made during the term of this AGREEMENT, to the specified tax-sheltered annuity, and concluding on the last day of BEAMON’s employment. In the event that this AGREEMENT terminates before June 30th of the fiscal year, the annuity contribution shall be prorated for the terminating fiscal year.


4.3.1    Automobile Expense: In order to assist and enhance BEAMON’S ability to perform her duties and responsibilities, the BOARD shall provide BEAMON Seven Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($750) per month for the use of a personal automobile and insurance, maintenance, gas, and other expenses related thereto. Any costs or expenses related to the rental or lease of a motor vehicle for travel within the State of Florida shall be borne by BEAMON and shall not be separately reimbursed. BEAMON shall maintain an automobile for employment purposes.

4.3.2        Communication: In order to assist and enhance BEAMON’S ability to perform her duties and responsibilities, the BOARD shall provide BEAMON Eighty Dollars ($80.00) per month toward the cost of her cell phone service.

4.3.3    Civic & Community Activity Expenses: The BOARD shall provide BEAMON an expense account, which shall be used for community and business-related expenses incurred while managing the Superintendent’s duties. This amount may be increased by the parties upon mutual consent at any time during the year and will be paid in monthly installments in amounts not to exceed Three Thousand Six Hundred ($3,600.00) Dollars per year without BOARD approval. This allowance will be adjusted as of July 1st each year during the term of this AGREEMENT based upon the year’s CPI for urban consumers, not to exceed Six Hundred ($600.00) Dollars per year. BEAMON shall provide all documentation, receipts, invoices, etc., on a monthly basis, to confirm that this expense account was used for the authorized purpose.  BEAMON will prepare an annual reconciliation of these expenditures before July 31 of each year, for the preceding fiscal year. In the event that the reconciliation reveals that BEAMON spent less than the allocated expense amount paid to BEAMON for the purposes listed above, then BEAMON will reimburse the BOARD the difference between the amounts paid to BEAMON and the documented expenses under this subsection.

4.4       REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES:  In order to assist and enhance BEAMON’S ability to perform her job responsibilities, to the extent permitted by law, the BOARD shall also pay or reimburse BEAMON for reimbursable expenses, such as per diem, lodging, non-vehicle (automobile) transportation, and the like incurred by BEAMON in the continuing performance of BEAMON’S duties under this AGREEMENT.

4.5       PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS AND ORGANIZATIONAL DUES: In support of the BOARD’S educational interests, BEAMON shall attend and participate in appropriate professional meetings at the local, state, and national levels with the reasonable expenses for such attendance (excluding automobile expense) to be borne by the BOARD in accord with the BOARD’S policies and state law, including membership fees and dues of BEAMON in such organizations as he deems appropriate to the performance of her duties. BEAMON may hold offices or accept responsibilities in these professional or educational organizations, provided that such responsibilities do not interfere with the performance of her duties as Superintendent. The BOARD shall pay the entire cost of BEAMON’S memberships in or engagements with the following organizations: Florida Association of District School Superintendents; American Association of School Administrators; Florida Association of School Administrators; and, such other professional or educational memberships as the BOARD and BEAMON determine are necessary to maintain or improve her professional knowledge and skills.

The cost of such professional and educational memberships shall be paid by the BOARD only to the extent permitted by law and upon proper submission of invoices for reimbursement or payment of such fees and dues.

4.6       FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM: BEAMON shall be eligible to participate in the Florida Retirement System (FRS). BOARD shall contribute to the FRS as required by law including the provisions of Section 121.055, Florida Statutes, which currently provides that participation in the Senior Management class is compulsory for all appointed school superintendents. In the event that Senior Management Service Class ceases to be compulsory for appointed district school superintendents, BOARD agrees to continue to maintain BEAMON in membership in the Senior Management Service Class unless prohibited by law or in the event Senior Management Service Class ceases to exist.


5.1       BEAMON shall be eligible for a performance incentive component to her compensation that shall be based on an amount not to exceed five percent (5%) of BEAMON’S annual salary to be awarded in percentages and dependent upon the performance ratings in the written evaluation done by the BOARD no later than October 1 of each year as follows:

Summative RatingImpact on Term of Contract
Unsatisfactory                                                No performance bonus 
Needs ImprovementNo performance bonus
EffectivePerformance bonus of 3% of base salaryAutomatic one year extension of the AGREEMENT 
Highly EffectivePerformance bonus of 5% of base salaryAutomatic one year extension of the AGREEMENT 

If an automatic AGREEMENT extension is earned, this AGREEMENT shall be extended for a period or term of an additional (1) year for each such applicable performance evaluation. The performance incentive, unless otherwise agreed to by the Parties, shall be due and payable within 90 days of the date of delivery of the final, written evaluation to BEAMON by the BOARD pursuant to the provisions in Section 3 herein.


6.1       VACATION LEAVE. BEAMON shall accrue annual vacation leave at the rate allowed for 12-month administrative employees of the district, which presently is 1.5 days per month. BEAMON may accumulate unused annual vacation leave and carry the same over to the following fiscal year pursuant to BOARD Policy 1430.06, or any successor policies. On June 30, 2021, and each June 30th thereafter, BEAMON has the option to convert a maximum of fifteen (15) days of unused vacation time per year to paid days. This option to convert must be exercised by June 30th of each year, with the applicable payment to be made within thirty (30) days thereafter. The amount of payment for each converted vacation day shall be calculated based upon BEAMON’s then current salary divided by two hundred fifty-eight days, which is the approximate number of work days throughout each year upon which the Superintendent’s salary is based.

6.2       SICK LEAVE: BEAMON shall accrue sick leave as provided by Florida law and BOARD Policy 1430.03 or any successor policy, which is presently one (1) day per month. On June 30, 2021, and each June 30th thereafter, BEAMON has the option to sell the balance of the accumulated sick leave that is earned for that year and is unused pursuant to 1012.6l (2)(a)(3), Fla. Stat. The daily rate of pay applicable to any such payment shall be the maximum amount allowable pursuant to §1012.61(2)(a)(3), Fla. Stat.

6.3       HOLIDAYS: BEAMON shall be entitled to the same paid holidays as those provided to the 12-month administrative employees of the district.


7.1       BEAMON may engage in additional, outside professional development activities, including teaching, consulting, speaking, writing, and participating in professional associations related to education or business, provided said activities do not interfere with BEAMON’S duties and to the extent that same does not violate § 112.311 et seq., Fla. Stat. Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. Any compensated consulting work undertaken by BEAMON must be performed using BEAMON’S annual leave time, personal leave time, holidays or other non-duty time. BEAMON shall disclose to the BOARD, in writing, any consulting work in advance of performing the same. BOARD shall not be responsible for reimbursement of any expenses, including any reasonable per diem for meals and travel. It is also agreed that unpaid consulting work for districts or organizations identified in 4.7 shall be considered professional development or temporary duty leave, due to positive exposure for the district or experiences that would enhance BEAMON’S performance of district responsibilities.


8.1       BEAMON and the BOARD agree to work with one another in compliance with BOARD policy and in so doing, BEAMON shall advise and counsel with the BOARD.

8.2       Administrative responsibility and commensurate authority for administering the school system on a day-to-day basis will be delegated by the BOARD to BEAMON to the extent permitted by law.

8.3       The BOARD recognizes that it is a collective body and each BOARD member recognizes that her power as a BOARD member is derived from the collective deliberation and action of the BOARD as a whole in a duly-constituted meeting and that there is no individual authority to give direction to BEAMON or any SCPS staff member regarding the management of the district or the solution of specific problems.

8.4       It is agreed that the BOARD, individually and collectively, will refer promptly to BEAMON for study and recommendation, criticism, complaints and suggestions brought to the attention of the BOARD or any member thereof.


9.1       TERMINATION WITHOUT CAUSE: BOARD may remove BEAMON from the position of Superintendent at any time during this AGREEMENT without any reason, upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the BOARD’S members. Nothing in this AGREEMENT shall prevent the BOARD from exercising its discretion to terminate this AGREEMENT and the services of BEAMON, upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the BOARD’S members. BEAMON shall receive ninety (90) days written notice of any such determination by the BOARD to terminate this AGREEMENT. BEAMON expressly waives any right he might otherwise have to object to the reasons for her termination, prior notice and/or a hearing in connection with the termination of her employment, except as expressly provided in this AGREEMENT.

9.2.      SEVERANCE COMPENSATION: In the event that BEAMON is terminated without cause by the BOARD pursuant to 9.1, BOARD agrees to pay BEAMON the maximum sum that is permitted by §§ 215.425 and 1001.50(2), Fla. Stat. (2012). All compensation paid by BOARD to BEAMON pursuant to these provisions shall be considered liquidated damages.

9.3       TERMINATION FOR CAUSE: BEAMON may be dismissed for cause from her employment for conduct which is seriously prejudicial to the BOARD or the School District including, without limitation, willful neglect of duty; material breach of AGREEMENT; violation of the Code of Ethics applicable to members of the teaching profession in Florida; violation of the Code of Ethics prescribed by Chapter 112, Florida Statutes (as amended); conduct precluded by Rules 6B-1.001,6B-1.006 and 66-4.009, Florida Administrative Code (as amended); or for “just cause” as determined by Section 1012.33, Florida Statutes (as amended). Notice of termination for cause shall be given in writing and BEAMON shall be entitled to such due process rights as provided by state law and BOARD policy. If this AGREEMENT is terminated for cause, BEAMON’S term of office shall immediately cease. If terminated for cause, BEAMON shall be ineligible for any other compensation or benefits. However, BEAMON is entitled, upon termination for cause, to payment for any earned, accrued and unused leave to the extent permitted by BOARD policy.

9.4           BENEFITS UPON TERMINATION: In the event of termination of this AGREEMENT, BEAMON’S medical insurance will be addressed in accordance with any federal law, state laws and state regulations in effect at the time of termination.

9.5           INCAPACITY: In the event that BEAMON becomes unable to perform any or all of her duties with reasonable accommodations under this AGREEMENT due to illness, accident or other cause beyond her control, and if said inability continues for a period of more than thirty (30) consecutive days, BOARD may, in its sole discretion, appoint an Acting Superintendent to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of BEAMON under this AGREEMENT. If such disability continues for more than ninety (90) consecutive days, the BOARD may, in its sole discretion and upon an affirmative vote of a majority of its members, terminate this AGREEMENT whereupon the respective duties, rights and obligations of the Parties shall terminate including any obligations for severance pay contained in Section 9.2 hereof. In the event of termination due to disability, BEAMON shall continue to receive the salary and benefits provided in this AGREEMENT for a period of ninety (90) days from the date BEAMON is terminated. The BOARD’S decision and determination as to the disability of BEAMON shall be final and shall be based upon the opinion of a licensed medical physician. BEAMON hereby consents to a medical examination as requested by the BOARD pursuant to this provision or in the alternative to produce sufficient documentation to determine the nature of the absence or incapacity. The Parties agree that the BOARD may select the licensed physician who will perform any such medical examination.

9.6            RESIGNATION: If BEAMON should at any time elect to resign her position as Superintendent, he agrees to provide the BOARD not less than ninety (90) days prior written notice of such resignation. After ninety (90) days following the delivery of such notice to the BOARD, in accordance with the notice provisions of this AGREEMENT, this AGREEMENT and all rights and obligations created hereunder shall terminate, unless the BOARD elects to terminate the AGREEMENT earlier or unless the Parties mutually agree to a different date of resignation. Absent such mutual agreement or a vote by the BOARD to terminate this agreement earlier, such written resignation shall become effective on the 90th day after its delivery to the BOARD and shall become final. Without regard to whether it was accepted or not by the BOARD, such written resignation may not be withdrawn or revoked by BEAMON without the consent and agreement of the BOARD through a properly adopted motion by the BOARD at a regularly scheduled meeting. All salaries and other benefits which are or would be payable or accrue to BEAMON under this AGREEMENT shall be prorated as of the effective date of the resignation. BEAMON shall be entitled for any earned, accrued and unused leave. BEAMON shall also be entitled to payment for any performance incentives earned through the date notice of the resignation was served to the BOARD.

9.7           BENEFITS UPON RETIREMENT OR DEATH: This AGREEMENT shall be terminated upon the retirement or death of BEAMON. If termination is as a result of death, BEAMON’S estate or designated beneficiaries shall be entitled to receive such benefits under any death benefit plan that may be in effect for employees of the district in which BEAMON participated and any salary, reimbursement, performance incentives, earned, accrued and unused leave or benefits, and any other payments due and owing under this AGREEMENT as of the date of death. If termination is the result of BEAMON’S retirement, BEAMON shall be entitled to any salary, reimbursements, performance incentives, earned, accrued and unused leave or benefits, and any other payments due and owing under this AGREEMENT as of the date of retirement.

9.8       MUTUAL AGREEMENT: This AGREEMENT may be terminated by mutual agreement of BEAMON and the BOARD, in writing, upon mutually agreed upon terms and conditions. If termination is by mutual agreement, BEAMON shall be entitled to any salary, reimbursements, performance incentives, earned, accrued and unused leave or benefits, and any other payments due and owing under this AGREEMENT as of the termination date. Termination under this provision does not require BOARD payment of any or all of the severance pay to be paid by the BOARD pursuant to Section 9.2 herein, unless expressly agreed to by the Parties at the time of mutual separation.


10.1     PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: All obligations of the BOARD under the terms of this AGREEMENT are reasonably susceptible of being performed in Seminole County, Florida and shall be payable and performable in Seminole County, Florida.

10.2     SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY: Nothing herein is intended to serve as a waiver by BOARD or BEAMON of sovereign immunity or of any rights under § 768.28, Florida Statutes.

10.3     NO THIRD PARTIES: The Parties expressly acknowledge that it is not their intent to create or confer any rights or obligations in or upon any third person or entity under this AGREEMENT. None of the Parties intend to directly or substantially benefit a third party by this AGREEMENT. The Parties agree that there are no third-party beneficiaries to this AGREEMENT and that no third party shall be entitled to assert a claim against any of the Parties based upon this AGREEMENT. Nothing herein shall be construed as consent by either party to be sued by third Parties in any matter arising out of any contract.

10.4      INDEMNIFICATION OF SUPERINTENDENT: In accordance with § 1012.26 Florida Statutes, the BOARD agrees that it shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless BEAMON to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law from and against any and all liabilities, costs, claims and expenses, including without limitation, all costs and expenses incurred in defense of litigation or any administrative proceeding or action, including attorneys’ fees and costs, arising out of the employment of BEAMON, or as a result of her serving as Superintendent, except to the extent arising out of or based on her gross negligence, willful misconduct, bad faith, with malicious purpose, conduct in any manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property or as a result of the willful or wanton neglect of duty as Superintendent. BEAMON shall have the right to select counsel to represent him in any such civil or criminal action, subject to the Board’s approval. This provision shall survive termination of this AGREEMENT.

10.5     NON-DISCRIMINATION: The Parties shall not discriminate against any employee or participant in the performance of the duties, responsibilities and obligations under this AGREEMENT because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or marital status.

10.6       ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This AGREEMENT constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties pertaining to the subject matter hereof and is the final, complete and exclusive expression of the terms and conditions of their agreement. Any and all prior agreements, representations, negotiations and understandings made by the Parties, oral and written, express or implied, are hereby superseded and merged herein. Accordingly, the Parties agree that no deviation from the terms hereof shall be predicated upon any prior representations or agreements, whether oral or written.

10.7       AMENDMENTS: Any amendment, modifications, or variations from the terms of this AGREEMENT shall be in writing, shall be effective only upon approval of such amendment, modification, or variation by the BOARD and BEAMON, and shall not operate as a termination of this AGREEMENT.

10.8       AGREEMENT PREPARATION: The Parties acknowledge that they have sought and obtained whatever competent advice and counsel as was necessary for each of them to form a full and complete understanding of all rights and obligations herein, and that the preparation of this AGREEMENT has been their joint effort. This AGREEMENT contains the Parties’ mutual expressions and the resulting document shall not, solely as a matter of judicial construction, be construed more severely against one of the Parties than the other.

10.9     BINDING EFFECT: This AGREEMENT shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the Parties hereto and any respective successors.

10.10   WAIVER The Parties agree that each requirement, duty and obligation set forth herein is substantial and important to the formation of this AGREEMENT and, therefore, is a material term hereof. Any Party’s failure to enforce any provision of this AGREEMENT shall not be deemed a waiver of such provision or modification of this AGREEMENT. A waiver of any breach of a provision of this AGREEMENT shall not be deemed a waiver of any subsequent breach and shall not be construed to be a modification of the terms of this AGREEMENT.

10.11     GOVERNING LAW: This AGREEMENT shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the State of Florida. Venue for any cause of action shall be in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Seminole County, Florida.

10.12     LEGAL COMPLIANCE: Each Party shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws, codes, rules and regulations in performing its duties, responsibilities and obligations pursuant to this AGREEMENT. Furthermore, any provisions of this AGREEMENT which do not comply with the laws of the State of Florida in existence, from time to time, during the term of this AGREEMENT shall be deemed amended to comply with such laws.

10.13     SEVERABILITY: Should any provision of this AGREEMENT be invalid, illegal, unlawful, unenforceable or void in any respect, the surviving provisions of this AGREEMENT shall nevertheless be effective and binding on all Parties.

10.14     MEDIATION: The Parties agree that in the event they cannot resolve a dispute hereunder, they shall, prior to filing any lawsuit, mutually participate in mediation, to be conducted by a certified Florida Circuit Court mediator, who shall be mutually selected and whose fees and costs shall be equally divided between the Parties.

10.15     ASSIGNMENT: Neither this AGREEMENT nor any interest herein may be assigned, transferred or encumbered by any Party. There shall be no partial assignments of this AGREEMENT including, without limitation, the partial assignment of any right to receive payments from the BOARD.

10.16   FORCE MAJEURE: Neither party shall be obligated to perform any duty, requirement or obligation under this AGREEMENT if such performance is prevented by fire. hurricane, earthquake, explosion, wars, sabotage, accident, flood, acts of God, strikes, or other labor disputes, riot or civil commotions, or by reason of any of this matter or condition beyond the control of either party, and which cannot be overcome by reasonable diligence and without unusual expense (“Force Majeure”). In no event shall a lack of funds on the part of either Party be deemed Force Majeure.

10.17     CAPTIONS: The captions, section numbers, article numbers, title and headings appearing in this AGREEMENT are inserted only as a matter of convenience and in no way define, limit, construe or describe the scope or intent of such articles or sections of this AGREEMENT, nor in any way effect this AGREEMENT and shall not be construed to create a conflict with the provisions of this AGREEMENT.

10.18     AUTHORITY: Each person signing this AGREEMENT, on behalf of either Party, individually warrants that he or she has full legal power to execute this AGREEMENT on behalf of the Party for whom he or she is signing, and to bind and obligate such Party with respect to all provisions contained in this AGREEMENT.

10.19     STATE FUNDING: BEAMON’S salary, performance incentives and benefits paid for by state funds shall be limited as prescribed in Section 1001.50, Florida Statutes. BOARD shall be responsible for identifying additional sources of funding for any amounts due and owing to BEAMON under the terms of this AGREEMENT that are in excess of the limits prescribed by Section 1001.50, Florida Statutes.

10.20     NOTICE: When any of the Parties desire to give notice to the other, such notice must be in writing, sent by U.S. Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the party for whom it is intended at the place last specified. The place for giving notice shall remain such until it is changed by written notice in compliance with the provisions of this paragraph. For the present, the Parties designate the following as the respective places for giving notice:

To BOARD:                School Board of Seminole County

Attn:  School Board Chairman

                                    Educational Support Center

                                    400 East Lake Mary Boulevard

                                    Sanford, Florida 32773-7127

With a Copy to:          Executive Director, Legal Services

                                    Educational Support Center

                                    400 East Lake Mary Boulevard

                                    Sanford, Florida 32773-7127

To BEAMON:             Serita Duhart Beamon

                                    Educational Support Center

                                    400 East Lake Mary Boulevard

                                    Sanford, Florida 32773-7127

10.21   Venue: Venue for any action at law or equity arising out of this AGREEMENT, Including, but not limited to, action for enforcement or breach of this AGREEMENT shall be brought in the County or Circuit Court of Seminole County, Florida or the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, as appropriate.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties having caused this Amendment to be duly executed on the respective dates hereinafter shown.



By:                                                                              By:                                                     

Karen Almond, Chairman                                         Clerk to the Seminole County School Board

  Date:             , 2021                                              Date:               , 2021

By: ___________________________

Serita Duhart Beamon, Superintendent

 Date: _________, 2021          


Statement during public meeting on 3/23 

I’ve had many conversations with community members over the past two weeks, one of which stands out with me, in which if this board, or myself, does not discuss the timeline of the process, and identify where I believe there have been deviations from a fair, balanced and transparent process, then I am just as complicit as the rest. Therefore, I would like to address the timeline that I went through.  I am only speaking on behalf of myself, not as the entirety of this board:

I have no additions to the timeline presented on the Superintendent Search Timeline document prior to the December 15, 2020 School Board meeting, at which time the Search Committee presented the Board with 5 recommended candidates to move forward with.  We accepted those 5 candidates; the Search Committee was released from Sunshine Laws and each member began to do our own due diligence.  It was at this time during my due diligence that I found out that there had been calls made to members of the Search Committee by the current Superintendent to advocate for one candidate, for which I believe tainted the process.  I proceeded to review provided documents, search public records and make public records requests.  Through this process, I narrowed my candidate choice to two individuals.

At the January 19, 2021 School Board meeting, the candidates were narrowed down to two individuals.  Mr. Farnsworth and Mrs. Beamon.  After this meeting I did further due diligence by requesting feedback from individuals who had not provided letters of recommendation.  I received red flags on each candidate, however one outweighed the other, I vowed to remain open minded during the interview process.  It was also brought up -to speed up the process of hiring the candidate, at which time I also expressed my concern about the optics of this.  Rather than interviewing Feb 17/18 and final voting on Feb 23rd, we moved the interviews up to one day, Feb 8, with the final vote to happen on Feb 9.

February 8, 2021, the Candidates were interviewed in a group setting, then one on one with each of us. I used my experience and business acumen in leadership and human resources, the information gathered during this process and how the candidates responded in their interviews to base my decision on how to vote for our next Superintendent.

February 9, 2021 School Board meeting was held, at which time, by 3-2 vote, Mr. Farnsworth was selected, announcements went out, and we voted to authorize the chairman to negotiate the employment contract with the newly selected superintendent.

Between February 10 and February 15, Mrs. Sanchez called me in a very upset voice, indicating that the current Superintendent had called her and was irate in manner, expressing his anger in her on her vote. I did not receive such a call.

February 23, 2021, prior to the School Board meeting, I was informed by Dr. Griffin that there was a potential that that night’s meeting would look different, please talk to the Board Clerk.  The Board clerk informed me that there was going to be a time right before public comment to allow board members to speak, not giving any context as to why.  That night at the board meeting, prior to the Public Comment, the Board Chair opened the Dais for comment.  It was at that point that Dr. Calderone made the motion to rescind the vote for the Superintendent and allow for discussion, which did not happen at that meeting, but at the following meeting.  Her concern was that we did not have an in-depth dialogue nor did we show full support for one candidate with a 5-0 vote.

March 1, 2021 School Board meeting we had generous public comment, and in-depth dialogue between the board members on why we voted the way we did.  Called for a vote, which resulted in a 3-2 vote for Mrs. Beamon.  I am still unclear as to why Dr. Calderone changed her vote, or why she did not press for a 5-0 vote at this time, and think that a clarification would help heal this board and community. We did not vote to authorize the School Board Chairman to negotiate an employment contract with the newly selected Superintendent.  I questioned this with the board clerk who researched and was told that because we voted on it previously, we did not need to vote on this again.  I am still unclear if this is something we should have voted on or not. 

March 9, 2021, at the point in the School Board meeting for which each member gives a committee update, Mrs. Kraus requested in the spirit of full disclosure, for our CFO to read out of context, audit comments related to two counties that the previous candidate worked for.  I would like a better understanding of why this was brought up, and think that an explanation would also help heal this board and community and provide clarity to those two counties as to why it was necessary.

We all have received countless emails from parents and community members expressing their dismay of this process, our transparency and that the end result is setting up the new superintendent for failure before they begin.  It is for this reason, I would like to make a motion to follow our policy number 8141-Mandatory Reporting of Misconduct and request a full review of this entire process be made, by outside counsel, to determine if there was or was not wrong doing or Sunshine Violations on the part of any of us, including myself. 

(THEN:  If this is agreed upon,) I would like to motion to table the approve the superintendent’s contract until this review is completed so that we can enter into the agreement knowing that we have done right by our community


Dear Vice-Chair Pennock,

Please see the attached letter regarding recent behavior and discourse relating to SCPS Superintendent transition.


Dan Smith


Seminole Education Association

813 Orienta Avenue

Altamonte Springs, FL  32701

Email – daniel.smith@floridaea.org

Office – 407.388.1131

Cell – 321.388.6513

FEA | 213 S. Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 32301 | 850.201.2800 | Fax 850.222.1840 

Send an email to unsubscribe@floridaea.org to opt-out from receiving future messages. Only the individual sender is responsible for the content of the message, and the message does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Florida Education Association or its affiliates. This email, including attachments, may contain information that is confidential, and is only intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. 


[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written communications to or from School District Personnel are public records available to the public and media upon request. E-mail sent or received on the School District system will be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to State Law.] 

<Pres Dan Smith Letter SCPS 03112021 on Superintendent.pdf>

Thu 3/11/2021 9:11 PM


Thank you for putting your thoughts on paper in response to the events over the past 24 to 48 hours. I don’t think I could have said it much better than you did in your letter. 

I will tell you that this has to be the darkest day for me in SCPS, for what has otherwise been such an enjoyable career serving our students, teachers and staff. I know we will all get through this unfortunate division we’ve been handed, but it’s going to take a team of strong and devoted professional educators. 

I am confident that we as leaders in the best district in Florida will help everyone refocus on educating our children together. You are an integral part of this effort to heal and move on.



Tim Harper, Ed. D. 

Chief Technology Officer 

Seminole County Public Schools 

*Sent from a mobile device. Please excuse any keying errors.

On Mar 11, 2021, at 19:54, Griffin, Walt <walt_griffin@scps.k12.fl.us> wrote:

Thank you, Dan, for putting your thoughts on paper. Your words mean more to me than you know.  I will share it with the Cabinet.  The post last night saddened them deeply. 

Walt Griffin, Ed.D. 


Seminole County Public Schools


Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 11, 2021, at 4:16 PM, Smith, Daniel <daniel.smith@floridaea.org> wrote:

***** CAUTION: This email originated from outside SCPS. *****

DO NOT click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and are expecting the information or have verified with a third party that the information is safe!  Contact the I.S. Help Desk at 407-320-0350 if you have concerns about unsafe content. 

Fri 3/12/2021 6:18 AM

Dear Dan,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to the events associated with the Superintendent’s Search. As an individual that was closely associated with the search process, I was appalled and saddened that the selection process devolved into what occurred. The Superintendent’s selection committee did its job professionally and faithfully, and my heart hurts for each of them as they dedicated numerous hours to do their best for SCPS. Unfortunately, they weren’t similarly rewarded. You so eloquently “hit the nail on the head”, and I appreciate you taking the time to express what so many feel. 


Boyd E. Karns, Jr.

Executive Director of Human Resources and Professional Standards

Seminole County Public Schools

400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.

Sanford, FL 32773


Sent from my iPad

[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law.  Virtually all written communications to or from School District Personnel are public records available to the public and media upon request.  E-mail sent or received on the School District system will be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to State Law.]

Fri 3/12/2021 11:40 AM


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I think you are expressing what many are feeling.  It is very disappointing that we find ourselves in this predicament as a district.  In all of my 35 years as an employee for SCPS, I have never felt this way, so unsure about our future as a united district.  Thank you for your continued support of teachers and students.

Mike Gaudreau

Executive Director of Secondary Education

Seminole County Public Schools

Fri 3/12/2021 1:30 PM

Thank you, Dan, for expressing your thoughts about the recent letter posted on social media.  SCPS is by far the best school district in Florida and the turmoil that we are now experiencing is troubling.  The personal attack on Dr. Griffin is especially concerning.  He has devoted his entire educational career to the children and families in Seminole and he is appreciated, respected, and trusted by students, parents, grandparents, school and district staff, the business community, and so many others.  He does not deserve this public attack by a School Board member, whose actions in regards to this are inexcusable and unforgivable. 

What contributes to SCPS being the best is the collegiality and collaboration between school staff, district staff, and the Board.  It isn’t perfect, there are areas we need to improve.  However, we always listen to each other, challenge each other, try to find an acceptable solution and ultimately support each other.  We have never before experienced a situation where social media, as a result of postings made by a School Board member, was used to promote a divide.  Unfortunately, social media fuels the flames of controversy as it brings out the fringe element.  Most professionals tend to favor face-to-face conversations to settle differences, do not use social media for that purpose, and choose to not respond to opinions posted on social media.  School Board Meetings are public meetings for a reason; they give the Board the opportunity to discuss among themselves the business of the Board and any member of the public may attend the meetings or listen to the recordings.  Social media should never be used to try Board business in the court of public opinion.

Healing occurs and problems are solved when leaders trust and respect each other.  We have always had that in Seminole and we will have it again!  

Marjorie Murray

Marjorie Murray

Director of ECTAC

Seminole County Public Schools

Educational Support Center

400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.

Sanford, FL 32773-7127

Phone: (407)320-0244

Fax: (407)320-0293

Cell: (407)230-8842

[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written communications to or from School District Personnel are public records available to the public and media upon request. E-mail sent or received on the School District system will be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to State Law.]

Fri 3/12/2021 3:14 PM

Dear Dan, 

I just wanted to let you know I very much appreciate the sentiments expressed in your letter.  I feel you eloquently communicated the feelings and emotions of many.  Like you, I believed throughout the selection process that Ms. Beamon was the best choice and shared my feedback with Board members privately early in the process.  While I was disappointed after the initial selection, I knew I would support the new superintendent 100%.  When the opportunity to reconsider came about, I felt it important to share again my thoughts with the School Board.  And, as before, I will support our superintendent 100%.  We are a team, and the success of our team is due to the work of everyone on the team. 

I am very concerned about the disruption to our leadership team but also for our school leaders and teachers.  Despite differences of opinion, we generally put differences aside for the benefit of the district.  I worry that our incredible employees in all positions may now question the vision and mission we have so successfully undertaken. In my opinion, leadership, whether as a classroom teacher or school or district administrator or school board member, means completing the mission, doing what is necessary to support team members and serving as an example for others. 

I truly appreciate you expressing your thoughts and the opportunity to express my own back to you. I believe all of us working together will weather this challenge and work hard to remain the best school district in Florida and the nation. 

Sincere regards,


Robin G. Dehlinger, Ed. D.

Seminole County Public Schools

Executive Director, Elementary Schools

400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.

Sanford, FL 32773-7127

Office:  407-320-0032

Fax:  407-320-0293 

EXHIBIT I1 – Superintendent search committee

EXHIBIT I2 – Tally sheets

EXHIBIT J1 – Survey Results

EXHIBIT K1 – CNN article –

A White hospital executive says he was fired and replaced by 2 women as part of a diversity push. He sued and was just awarded $10 million

CNN Expansion, Rebekah Riess

By Rebekah Riess, CNN

Updated 12:31 PM ET, Thu October 28, 2021

A  sign outside of the headquarters of Novant Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on September 14, 2019.

A sign outside of the headquarters of Novant Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on September 14, 2019.

(CNN)A White man has been awarded a $10 million payout in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against his former employer, which he said fired him and replaced him with a White woman and a Black woman as part of a push for diversity, according to court documents.

Plaintiff David Duvall was hired as senior vice president of marketing and communications by Novant Health Inc., a North Carolina-based not-for-profit health system with 15 medical centers and more than 1,800 physicians, on August 5, 2013, according to the complaint.

He was fired “without prior warning” on July 30, 2018, and ordered off the Novant premises, according to the lawsuit.

As part of Novant’s severance plan, any executive who was terminated without cause would, “under normal circumstances,” receive 30 days’ notice of that decision, the complaint said.

But Duvall was terminated “without any explanation as to why that promised ‘normal circumstances’ did not apply,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleged that Duvall, who was “performing at a high level and exceeding the performance expectations,” was then replaced by a White woman and a Black woman “for the express purpose of increasing gender and racial diversity among Novant executives,” which his attorney, Luke Largess, argued constituted discrimination based on sex and race.

“Defendant’s termination of Plaintiff on account of his race and sex directly violated this express public policy of the State of North Carolina. Thus, the termination of Plaintiff was wrongful and unlawful under state law,” the complaint says.

On Tuesday, a jury in the case ruled that Duvall had proven that his “race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male) was a motivating factor in Novant Health’s decision to terminate him.”

The jury also found Novant Health had not been able to prove that it would have made the same decision regardless of Duvall’s race and/or sex, according to the complaint.

Duvall was awarded $10 million in punitive damages from Novant Health, court records show.

Megan Rivers, director of media relations at Novant Health, told CNN in an email that the health system is disappointed in the verdict and will pursue all options, including appeal.

“Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including white men,” she wrote. “It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all.”

Largess told CNN Duvall’s lawsuit “is not a statement against diversity and inclusion programs.”

“The jury learned that Duvall was a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion at Novant; he sat on an executive committee that supported the initiative and his team provided marketing for the program. That was one irony in his termination, his belief in Diversity and Inclusion. But such programs have to be run lawfully,” Largess said.

“We believe the punitive damages award was a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees simply based on their race or gender in order to achieve targets for greater diversity in the workforce. It is plainly unlawful and harmful and that was obvious to the jury,” he added.


Florida Statute 1001.50 (3) The district school board of each such district shall pay to the district school superintendent a reasonable annual salary. In determining the amount of compensation should be made, the board should take into account such factors as:

(a) The population of the district.

(b) The rate and character of population growth.

(c) The size and composition of the student body to be served.

(d) The geographic extent of the district.

(e) The number and the character of the schools to be supervised.

(f) The educational qualifications and professional experience of the candidate for the position of district superintendent. 






Seminole school board reverses course, names its attorney as new superintendent



MAR 02, 2021 AT 3:31 PM

A still-divided Seminole County School Board reversed itself Monday night and tapped its attorney as the school district’s next superintendent, making her the first woman and the first Black person selected to run the A-rated school district.

The 3-2 vote to hire Serita Beamon as superintendent came after a nearly five-hour meeting marked by emotional, sometimes angry public comments.

Beamon, 45, who has worked for the school district’s legal department for 16 years, grew up in Seminole and is a graduate of Lake Mary High School.

In a statement released by the district Tuesday, Beamon called it a “dream and honor” to be chosen. A school district spokesman said she would not be available for comment until after she signed a contract.

But in her public interview with the school board on Feb. 8, Beamon said her overall goal would be to make sure every student leaves the school district with a “meaningful diploma” that sets them up for future success.

“We’re going to do the hard work to make sure every kid has an opportunity in our school system,” she said.

She also admitted her background would give some teachers and parents pause. “Why would a lawyer want to be a superintendent, a lawyer that has never taught?” she said.

Her challenge will be to show people “the part of me that has a passion for education and for kids and for wanting to do the work.”

The job of picking a superintendent is rarely easy. But the Seminole school board’s process became steeped in controversy, with the race and qualifications of the candidates debated, and board members unable to reach a consensus on who would best replace Superintendent Walt Griffin, who is retiring this spring.

On Feb. 9, on another 3-2 vote, the board decided to select Chad Farnsworth as its next superintendent. Farnsworth, an assistant superintendent in Lake County, and Beamon were the two finalists interviewed for the job.

Last week, on another 3-2 vote, the board made an unusual decision and rescinded that vote as it heard from some school employees and community members who insisted Beamon was the better choice.

Board member Tina Calderone was the swing vote. She backed Farnsworth on Feb. 9 but then proposed rescinding that vote two weeks later, saying board members had not had a back-and-forth discussion about the two finalists before making the decision.

Monday, she voted for Beamon, as did Beamon’s two previous supporters, Karen Almond and Kristine Kraus. Board members Amy Pennock and Abby Sanchez voted for Farnsworth, as they did previously.

Calderone said both were “excellent candidates” and she debated whether an attorney who knew the school district or an experienced educator who did not would best manage the high-performing school system.

Calderone said she wanted the board to be unanimous in its decision but there was no consensus on which candidate was best.

Both Almond and Kraus apologized to Farnworth but both also said they viewed Beamon as the better candidate, swayed in part by the support she had from Griffin and his top deputies.

“I made my selection based on merit, ” Almond said, adding that Beamon seemed best positioned to “keep the culture” that has helped make Seminole schools successful.

Both Almond and Kraus also said there was value in appointing a top-notch Black candidate to the job as the district continues to push for “equity and excellence” for all students.

Almond, who grew up in Seminole, reminded her colleagues that until the 1970s, Seminole ran a segregated school system. “I lived through the time when we had two school systems, one black one white,” she said. “There was no equity.”

Farnsworth, 43, who is white, is an assistant superintendent over human resources in Lake but spent most of his career in a small North Florida school district.

Some said his work as a teacher, assistant principal and superintendent made him the better choice. Though he worked mostly in Bradford County, he has also spent three years in the Lake County system. His supporters said he had the hands-on experience necessary to lead the school district, and some reminded board members how they’d praised him after his interview on Feb. 8.

Pennock said she voted for him because he was an educator, which is what a community survey showed residents most valued in a superintendent. Farnsworth also has been a superintendent and made tough decisions, she said.

“I feel we need a superintendent who has lived with the weight of the decision,” she added.

Though Farnsworth did not yet have a contract, he attended last week’s meeting, listening as speakers questioned his qualifications, she noted.

“He has exemplified the grace under a fire that a superintendent needs,” Pennock added.

The board heard public comment for more than three hours, as dozens of people spoke at the meeting and about 30 sent written comments that were read out loud.

Some argued Beaman was the better choice, even if her legal background made her a non-traditional one.

“She knows the system,” said Kenneth Bentley. “She’s also a hometown hero.”

The board should pick her, Bentley said, “not because she’s a female. Not because she’s an African American. Because she’s highly qualified.”

Several top administrators spoke on her behalf.

“Why wouldn’t you choose a proven leader?” asked Marjorie Murray, a longtime administrator for the district.

Some also questioned how well-prepared Farnsworth would be to run a large and diverse school system with nearly 67,000 students. Bradford has fewer than 4,000.

But other speakers praised him and several told the board the vote to rescind Farnsworth’s selection was an embarrassment.

“I’m ashamed of what the board has done,” one man said. “How are you going to fix this?”

Another urged Griffin to stay on another year so the board could restart a search for a new superintendent. “You’ve got a dumpster fire going right now as far as what occurred,” he said.

Others also questioned why the board interviewed only the two finalists and not any of the three high-ranking Orange County school administrators who its search committee also recommended. The committee forwarded five names to the board after reviewing 26 applications, and the board then voted to interview Beamon and Farnsworth.

The executive director of the Florida School Boards Association said she’s worked for the group for more than 15 years and has never known a Florida school board to reverse its own superintendent decision. “In my tenure, I have not seen that,” said Andrea Messina.



Botched superintendent search leaves a stain on Seminole’s outstanding school system | Editorial



MAR 18, 2021 AT 5:30 AM

Once viewed as a model of efficiency and orderly management, the Seminole County School Board turned the selection of a new superintendent into something very different.

We’ll shorten the more common usage and simply call it a cluster, an administrative embarrassment that the school district needs to explain and remedy if it hopes to avoid such debacles in the future.

No single decision by any Florida school board is more important than the selection of a superintendent. It’s not even close. The superintendent is placed in charge of a vast organization that oversees a vast amount of taxpayer money.

Ultimately, the superintendent’s leadership directly influences the quality of education for students in a county’s public schools, which can determine how successful those young people will be in life.

This is a county, after all, whose top-flight school system is a selling point for realtors and business recruiters. Mess that up and the human consequences also become economic consequences.

So, when Seminole Superintendent Walt Griffin announced last year that he was going to retire, School Board members surely knew they needed to get this one right.

The process of choosing a new leader seemed to be following a conventional path until a search committee came up with its five finalists in December.

In January, the School Board met to whittle down the list, but it was clear that not everyone was wild about their choices. All five finalists were already working in Central Florida, prompting board members Tina Calderone and Amy Pennock to wonder aloud if the search committee had cast a wide enough net.

But neither pressed the case for a new search, and the board settled on two finalists: Chad Farnsworth, a former superintendent in North Florida who currently works for Lake County schools, and Serita Beamon, the attorney for Seminole schools.

That’s when things got messy.

On Feb. 9, the board chose Farnsworth on a 3-2 vote. The discussion was superficial and shockingly brief — less than 20 minutes.

The board’s been known to spend more time at meetings presenting awards and recognizing employees. It could have at least dived more deeply into the merits of the two candidates, or maybe the value of going back and starting over. It didn’t.

Educator first tapped for Seminole superintendent job calls search a ‘fiasco’

Educator first tapped for Seminole superintendent job calls search a ‘fiasco’

MAR 11, 2021 AT 1:43 PM

Two weeks later, Calderone had a change of heart and moved to rescind the job offer to Farnsworth. It passed, 3-2. The following week, on March 1, board members voted 3-2 to give the job to Beamon. At least this time they devoted a full hour to talking about it.

We’re not judging whether Beamon was the better candidate than Farnsworth, or vice versa. Beamon’s been the school district’s attorney for 16 years. She knows the county and knows the school system. She’s well-liked and respected.

And her selection is one for the books, as she becomes the first woman and first Black superintendent in Seminole County. That’s worth celebrating.

But even if the board ultimately made the right call, it’s no excuse for mucking up the process so thoroughly and treating both finalists so shabbily.

Beamon now enters the job under a board-created cloud, one that could mean less confidence from the staff and the public.

For Farnsworth, not only did the board rescind his offer and give it to Beamon, the March 9 meeting featured a 15-minute presentation by a school district administrator who rehashed unfavorable audit findings from when Farnsworth was superintendent in Bradford County.

That final humiliation was — ostensibly — a “fact-checking” exercise necessitated by a public comment at an earlier meeting. It felt more like an after-the-fact attempt to justify giving the job to someone else.

Farnsworth fired off a letter on March 10 condemning the School Board and concluding, “I hope for the sake of the children, community, and the faculty and staff throughout Seminole County, the board can move forward in a professional manner.”

Board member Pennock wrote an extraordinary letter the same day, in which she accused Griffin of interfering in the selection, suggested racial pressures played a role in Beamon’s selection and questioned “the legitimacy of the entire process.”

All of this, every bit of it, will be right there on Google the next time Seminole County goes to hire another superintendent. If board members think it’s hard to recruit good candidates under Florida’s Sunshine Law, wait till candidates come across the news headlines about the last search.

The public still doesn’t know what happened behind the scenes, and questions need answering. Was the search expansive enough to capture the nation’s best candidates? Was the search committee too parochial in choosing its finalists? Should the School Board have interviewed all five finalists? How much influence did Griffin exert to overturn the original vote?

The controversy has left a reputational stain on a respected school system. If the board doesn’t seek answers, painful as they may be, its lack of introspection could come back to bite the district next time it goes looking for leadership.

Editorials are the opinion of the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board and are written by one of its members or a designee. The editorial board consists of Opinion Editor Mike Lafferty, Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, Jay Reddick and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Send emails to insight@orlandosentinel.com.


9.3 TERMINATION FOR CAUSE: BEAMON may be dismissed for cause from her employment for conduct which is seriously prejudicial to the BOARD or the School District including, without limitation, willful neglect of duty; material breach of AGREEMENT; violation of the Code of Ethics applicable to members of the teaching profession in Florida; violation of the Code of Ethics prescribed by Chapter 112, Florida Statutes (as amended); conduct precluded by Rules 6B-1.001,6B-1.006 and 66-4.009, Florida Administrative Code (as amended); or for “just cause” as determined by Section 1012.33, Florida Statutes (as amended). Notice of termination for cause shall be given in writing and BEAMON shall be entitled to such due process rights as provided by state law and BOARD policy. If this AGREEMENT is terminated for cause, BEAMON’S term of office shall immediately cease. If terminated for cause, BEAMON shall be ineligible for any other compensation or benefits. However, BEAMON is entitled, upon termination for cause, to payment for any earned, accrued and unused leave to the extent permitted by BOARD policy. 


6A-10.081 Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.

(1) Florida educators shall be guided by the following ethical principles:

(a) The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.

(b) The educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.

(c) Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

(2) Florida educators shall comply with the following disciplinary principles. Violation of any of these principles shall subject the individual to revocation or suspension of the individual educator’s certificate, or the other penalties as provided by law.

(a) Obligation to the student requires that the individual:

1. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety.

2. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.

3. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.

4. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program.

5. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.

6. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.

7. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.

8. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.

9. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

(b) Obligation to the public requires that the individual:

1. Shall take reasonable precautions to distinguish between personal views and those of any educational institution or organization with which the individual is affiliated.

2. Shall not intentionally distort or misrepresent facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression.

3. Shall not use institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.

4. Shall accept no gratuity, gift, or favor that might influence professional judgment.

5. Shall offer no gratuity, gift, or favor to obtain special advantages.

(c) Obligation to the profession of education requires that the individual:

1. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.

2. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.

3. Shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities.

4. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.

5. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.

6. Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues.

7. Shall not misrepresent one’s own professional qualifications.

8. Shall not submit fraudulent information on any document in connection with professional activities.

9. Shall not make any fraudulent statement or fail to disclose a material fact in one’s own or another’s application for a professional position.

10. Shall not withhold information regarding a position from an applicant or misrepresent an assignment or conditions of employment.

11. Shall provide upon the request of the certificated individual a written statement of specific reason for recommendations that lead to the denial of increments, significant changes in employment, or termination of employment.

12. Shall not assist entry into or continuance in the profession of any person known to be unqualified in accordance with these Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and other applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.

13. Shall self-report within forty-eight (48) hours to appropriate authorities (as determined by district) any arrests/charges involving the abuse of a child or the sale and/or possession of a controlled substance. Such notice shall not be considered an admission of guilt nor shall such notice be admissible for any purpose in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory. In addition, shall self-report any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendere for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment. When handling sealed and expunged records disclosed under this rule, school districts shall comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 943.0585(4)(c) and 943.059(4)(c), F.S.

14. Shall report to appropriate authorities any known allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.

15. Shall seek no reprisal against any individual who has reported any allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.

16. Shall comply with the conditions of an order of the Education Practices Commission imposing probation, imposing a fine, or restricting the authorized scope of practice.

17. Shall, as the supervising administrator, cooperate with the Education Practices Commission in monitoring the probation of a subordinate.

Rulemaking Authority 1001.02, 1012.795(1)(j) FS. Law Implemented 1012.795 FS. History–New 7-6-82, Amended 12-20-83, Formerly 6B-1.06, Amended 8-10-92, 12-29-98, Formerly 6B-1.006, Amended 3-23-16.