Candidates lining up as Orange County Public Schools’ superintendent nears retirement

Dr. Barbara Jenkins took the position in 2012

As of Friday afternoon, seven people are vying to replace Orange County Public Schools’ retiring superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – As of Friday afternoon, seven people were vying to replace Orange County Public Schools’ retiring superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins.

Updated Saturday, the final list of 11 candidates includes six from the Northeast (three from New Jersey, two from New York and one from Connecticut), one from Virginia, one from South Carolina, one from Maryland and another from the Dominican Republic, according to their resumes. Maria Vasquez, currently the deputy superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, also applied for the position.

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Andrea Messina is the Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association, which is the contracted executive search firm tasked with finding OCPS’ next superintendent.

“We do expect some internal applicants, and just to be clear, in most of our searches, not just this one, the bulk of the applicants will come in at the end,” Messina said.

She explained, “remember, Florida is the Sunshine State, so for public records purposes whenever someone’s name gets out there, it starts to hit the Media, and then things start to fly. So, the latter, they can put that off and focus on the current job that they’re doing, many times that’s what happens.”

Six of the eleven applicants currently listed online have experience serving as either a superintendent or a deputy superintendent.

The next step in the process comes next week when the school board will hold a work session. It’s scheduled for May 25, meant to discuss the process for selecting finalists.

The board will then only have about a month to make a final decision, as the board meeting to select the superintendent is scheduled for June 28.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.