Polk school board wants to hire interim superintendent

Jacqueline M. Byrd, Polk Co. Schools photo

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The woman who has been serving as interim superintendent of Polk County Schools will stay on and become the next Superintendent of Polk County Schools for a trial period.

The school district announced on Tuesday that Jacqueline M. Byrd has agreed to become the next Superintendent of Polk County Public Schools. The offer is subject to successful contract negotiations and approval by the Polk County School Board at its April 26, 2016 meeting.

If the contract is approved, Byrd would take on the role of superintendent for a trial period lasting through the 2016-17 school year. She has served as Interim Superintendent since Feb. 23

“I believe it will be good for us to have a time of consistency and stabilization to move forward as we continue to work for our students,” Byrd said Tuesday. “Our frame of mind is always on the impact and the end result for our children.”

School Board members were in the initial stages of a superintendent search process, but said they were moved by widespread positive feedback on Byrd’s performance from members of the community and school district employees. During Tuesday’s work session, Board Members asked Byrd if she would be interested in a trial period, and, after a brief recess, Byrd indicated that she would be interested.

The job has an advertised salary of $210,000 to $260,000, plus a benefits package.

An educator for more than 25 years, Byrd has served as a teacher and school principal, and is a former Chief of Schools for Duval County. She also was responsible for overseeing elementary turnaround schools in Duval. Byrd has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Florida and a master’s in educational leadership from Jacksonville University. She joined Polk County Public Schools as Deputy Superintendent in 2013.

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