Brevard County school board split on district’s new superintendent

A nationwide search for a new superintendent at Brevard Public Schools is over with a hometown principal snatching the spot.

The school board selected the current principal at Cocoa Beach High School to lead the district into the future, but the entire board wasn’t in support.

The board was split – 3 to 2 during Tuesday’s selection meeting, but Dr. Mark Rendell still got enough votes to make him the next district leader.

"None of our candidates have led a district this size. None of them, and they all are going to have a learning curve," said Katye Campbell who represents District 5 and didn’t vote in support of Rendell.  She pointed out concerns she had over his leadership in previous positions at other districts.

Other board members and parents are excited because the current principal is already a member of the community."Not only is he able to pull the community together quicker because he is a person of the community, but he also has the ability to understand the meandering of the people," exclaimed Matt Susin who chairs the school board. 

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He’s optimistic Rendell is the best choice but says it was a difficult decision to come to because all the candidates were qualified."Dr. Rendell is from here. He knows our weaknesses, our strengths. He knows the things that need to be done to make our district excellent again," said Katie Delaney who’s a BPS parent.

Other board members and parents are adamant Brevard County missed the mark."I think we have counties across the state that are breathing a sigh of relief as they watch us pass on two extremely qualified candidates that we had the first opportunity to make them an offer. It’s shameful," said Jennifer Jenkins who represents District 3 on the school board.

"We like to say Brevard is the best county and the schools are the best – they’re not getting the best," added Kelly Kervin who’s also a BPS parent. She spoke to the board during public comment on Tuesday voicing concerns with Rendell, including how he addressed her daughter who has dyslexia during the public meet and greet event.

The other two candidates the board considered were Jason Wysong who’s the Deputy Superintendent at Seminole County Public Schools and Scott Schneider who’s the Chief of Schools in Duval County.

Contract negotiations are now underway with Rendell. The board is targeting a start date in early June so he can move into the position and be ready to go for the new school year.