EXPLAINER: Here’s how the Seminole superintendent search committee works

Committee made five candidate recommendations to the school board

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County school leaders are meeting on Monday to discuss selecting a new superintendent.

Earlier this month, board members voted for Chad Farnsworth, a Lake County assistant superintendent. They voted for Farnsworth over Serita Beamon, the Seminole County school board attorney. Last week, the board rescinded their vote.

News 6 wanted to explain how the district narrowed it down to the final candidates for the position.

The process to select the next superintendent for Seminole County Public Schools started at the end of 2020. The district received 26 applications.

The school board formed a Superintendent Search Community Advisory Committee. Amy Lockhart chaired the committee made up of community stakeholders.

“The goal of the committee was for us to go through the applications that had been received by the school board and determine which applicants would be best to put forward to the school board for them to go through and determine who they would like to interview,” Lockhart said.

The committee first met on November 5. Lockhart said they reviewed the results of a community survey on the superintendent search.

“One of the highest priorities for them was that the new leader of the school district be someone who had experience in the classroom, experience as an educator,” she said.

The committee met again on November 19 and started the process of narrowing down the candidates. Lockhart said they didn’t follow a rubric, instead she said decisions were made based on discussions.

“There was a lot of really good dialogue and conversation because there were so many different people with different perspectives on the committee,” Lockhart said.

According to the meeting summary, committee members went through several rounds of selecting candidates for consideration. The summary stated candidate #18, who was Farnsworth, moved forward in the first one. According to the summary, candidate #24, who was Beamon, moved forward in the third round.

The meeting summary said the committee unanimously agreed to move 12 candidates forward.

The committee met one last time on December 3 to make a final list of candidates to recommend to the school board. According to the meeting summary, the committee agreed on five candidates, including Beamon and Farnsworth.

“That indicated unanimously by the committee that we felt that the school board would be well served to interview those five,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart said after the committee selected five candidates for consideration, their job was done. It was then up to the board to decide who they wanted to interview and choose as the next superintendent.

The school board decided to only interview Beamon and Farnsworth. Last week, the school district released videos of their group interviews with school board members.

Serita Beamon

Chad Farnsworth