Seminole County School Board votes Serita Beamon to be next superintendent

Search committee member does not have confidence in the district’s process

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Seminole County School Board voted Serita Beamon to be named the district’s next superintendent.

Beamon was announced as the next superintendent after a 3-2 vote Monday.

Karen Almond, Tina Calderone, and Kristine Krause voted for Beamon. Amy Pennock and Abby Sanchez voted for Chad Farnsworth.

Last month, board members voted 3-2 to select Farnsworth, the Lake County Assistant Superintendent, over Beamon.

Beamon has been the school district’s attorney since 2004.

The Seminole County School Board voted Serita Beamon to be named the district’s next superintendent, after already voting last month to select Chad Farnsworth.

The SCPS attorney said she supports the creation of customized education pathways for students.

Beamon said with her 16-plus years of experience working with SCPS, she has the knowledge to make sure the district provides excellence and equity for all students.

The school board confirmed Beamon submitted her resignation on Feb. 16 as the district’s attorney after she was not selected as the next superintendent.

Beamon announced her resignation as Seminole County School Board Attorney after she was not selected during the first vote.

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At a subsequent school board meeting two weeks later, board member Tina Calderone announced she was not comfortable with the vote.

“I’m concerned about our 3-2 vote lacked context,” Calderon said. “Our votes were perhaps cast without the kind of back and forth that leads to sound decisions.”

Later that night after public comment, much of it in support of Beamon while Farnsworth sat in the audience, the board voted to rescind the decision to select Farnsworth.

The Seminole County School Board will select a new superintendent for the second time this year.

Superintendent Search Committee Member and current Seminole Educators Association President Dan Smith said he was “shocked” by the vote.

“Our school board is usually predictable,” Smith said. “For example - choosing Chad Farnsworth on Feb. 9 was predictable - Rescinding the vote was a surprise. Now I think it is a big mess. Chad Farnsworth was offered the position and he was sitting five seats away from me when we heard Tina Calderone made the motion. To salvage this mess - the school board will need to bring their A-Game tonight.”

Smith said the board’s indecision makes the school district look bad.

“The indecision will harm SCPS in the future,” Smith said. “Right now - SCPS looks untrustworthy. If I were ever applying for Superintendent, which I am completely unqualified, I would be hesitant to apply to Seminole as they reneged on Chad Farnsworth.”

Smith said it will be difficult for either candidate to accept the position and move forward.

“I no longer have confidence in the process due to the rescinding of the vote,” Smith said. “If Serita Beamon was offered the position I do not know that she would accept it, I have not spoken to Serita on this issue, and if I am Chad Farnsworth - do I want to work under a school board who is indecisive? I don’t think so.”

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for News 6 and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting.