Interim superintendent to be reviewed Tuesday 

Alachua County Public Schools interim Superintendent Shane Andrew.
Photo by Megan V. Winslow

The School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) will evaluate interim Superintendent Shane Andrew and discuss his contract at Tuesday’s meeting. 

Board policy requires the SBAC to evaluate the superintendent yearly, said David M. Delaney, the board’s attorney. Andrew has been in the interim role since March 2022. Prior to being tapped as the interim superintendent, Andrew was the chief of operations, heading human resources, transportation, maintenance and construction. 

The board first discussed the evaluation process at its April 4 meeting and asked that Andrew complete a self-evaluation prior to the formal evaluation on May 2. 

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“I want to see what Mr. Andrew has done in his year-long stay with us,” board member Leanetta McNealy said on April 4. “What are the accomplishments, not just what has been planned.” 

The SBAC also is moving forward with a search for a permanent superintendent, voting on April 18 to contract with the Florida School Board Association (FSBA) to run the search process.  

Andrea Messina, the chief executive officer of the FSBA, met with the SBAC on Monday to discuss the process, timeline and cost of a search. 

The search for a new superintendent is expected to cost approximately $35,000 and to take at least six months. A contract that spells out the process, timeline and cost will come back to the board for final approval. 

SBAC Board Member Leanetta McNealy
Courtesy of Alachua County Public Schools Leanetta McNealy

Tina Certain, the chair of SBAC, said contracting the FSBA to conduct the search is cheaper than if the school system conducted the search directly. 

Board Member Kay Abbitt said that the school system needed to get a permanent superintendent in place. 

“As we do a strategic plan, and we’re moving forward with that, we need to make sure our superintendent is in place for the long term,” Abbitt said. 

Certain said the previous board that hired Andrew did not set up any metrics or criteria specifically to evaluate him. 

Many school districts evaluate superintendents based goals developed in a strategic plan, but Certain said the SBAC’s still in-development strategic plan can’t be used. 

“We don’t have a strategic plan where we have goals that we are holding him accountable for,” Certain said. “It’s been kind of a hodge-podge of operations.” 

The board planned in April to use an existing evaluation form that the SBAC has used to evaluate superintendents in the past. It includes a segment in which the board members also reflect on the quality of the directions they have given to the superintendent. 

Andrew, who was hired to replace fired Superintendent Carlee Simon, is under contract to be interim superintendent through June 30, 2024. But Certain said the contract also states that Andrew will return to his former position or an equivalent if a new person is hired to take on the superintendent’s role.  

Andrew told the board in April that he “welcomes the opportunity to improve my performance and get feedback” at the evaluation. 

He did ask the board to take into consideration that he was hired as an interim. 

“I think it is a different charge when you come in as an interim than as a formal superintendent,” Andrew said.  

In addition to Andrew’s evaluation and contract, the board will hear updates on the comprehensive rezoning efforts and the development of the strategic plan. 

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