UPDATE: Seminole County School Board votes to revoke decision on next superintendent

Dr. Walt Griffin announced his retirement plans last year

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.***8:48 p.m. Feb. 23, 2021 UPDATE***

During the middle of a school board meeting on Feb. 23, school board member Dr. Tina Calderone said there was not enough discussion on who should be the next superintendent.

She said the vote on Feb. 9 lacked context. In a 3-2 vote, the board voted to revoke the decision on the next superintendent.

“We always say our district works because we are family,” Calderone said.

A special school board meeting will be held at a future date to announce the next superintendent.


The Seminole County School Board announced Chad Farnsworth will be the next superintendent of the district.

The announcement came after Farnsworth received three votes and SCPS attorney Serita D. Beamon received two votes during a school board meeting on Tuesday.

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Current superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin announced he is going to retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

Griffin has worked with the district for 37 years.

“I’m retiring to enjoy my family. I’m not seeking a larger district or a different job. I will miss you, the wonderful people of this organization, more than anything,” Griffin said in November 2020.

In Farnsworth’s application, he said he wants Seminole County to become the top-performing district in Florida and to support a culture of high expectations for students, educators and leaders.

“It was apparent from the board’s discussion they had a very tough decision to make, and I think they made the decision they think would be the right person at this time,” Dr. Griffin said. “I think they will be excited to meet him. I’m sure there will be many opportunities, hopefully, post COVID-19 he’ll be able to get out quite a bit.

Farnsworth has been the assistant superintendent of the Lake County School District since 2017.

Prior to joining Lake County Schools, Farnsworth was the superintendent of Bradford County Schools.

Abby Sanchez is a school board member. She said it was important to her the new superintendent had teaching experience.

“I think it’s really important to have a leader that has been able to be in the classrooms, and having that experience of being a principal, assistant principal,” Sanchez said. “Not that the other candidate wasn’t amazing, I love her to pieces, and of course it’s hard not to let your emotions get involved.”

The next SCPS superintendent was also an assistant principal and a teacher with Bradford County Schools.

Farnsworth will be the 11th superintendent of the district. He will begin work in March or April.