ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Parents and the public had the opportunity to hear in-depth from the two finalists for Orange County Public Schools’ superintendent position ahead of the school board’s upcoming interviews.
The candidates vying for the position are Dr. Maria Vazquez and Dr. Peter Licata.
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School Board Members had 90 minutes to interview both finalists, with each member was allotted 10 minutes to ask questions.
Dr. Vazquez currently serves as the deputy superintendent for OCPS, with a background of more than two decades of experience working for the district.
She touted her familiarity and said, “I think that there is no one that knows Orange County and our community better than I do.” Vazquez started her career in education as a teacher in Hillsborough County before coming to Orange County.
Dr. Licata currently serves as the Regional Superintendent for the south region of Palm Beach County schools. Prior, he was a professor at Florida Atlantic University, and started his career as a middle school teacher in Boca Raton.
Dr. Licata told News 6 that what makes him a unique candidate is what he brought to the career and technical program in their district.
“Nobody can match what I’ve done in the world of CTE, career and technical education,” he said.
However, during a public meet-and-greet Tuesday evening, candidates found that no parents showed up to see them.
While Tuesday’s interviews were public, board members will have private one-on-one interviews with each candidate Wednesday.
They will have 45 minutes with both of the finalists to ask questions before voting Tuesday, June 28.