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School Board names internal candidate Todd Bowden next superintendent

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Todd Bowden Sept 2016

NEXT DISTRICT LEADER: The School Board of Sarasota County has named Todd Bowden as the next superintendent of schools. He will start March 1, 2017.

SARASOTA, Oct. 18, 2016 – The School Board of Sarasota County voted at its regular meeting today to name Todd Bowden, the district’s executive director of Career, Technical and Adult Education and the director of Suncoast Technical College, as the next superintendent of Sarasota County Schools.

Board members cited widespread community support for Bowden as well as his collaborative work with businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the county. Chairwoman Shirley Brown voted first for Brennan Asplen III, deputy superintendent for Academic and Student Services at St. Johns County Schools, citing several comments from people who attended the Oct. 13 public reception that noted his strengths in academics and early childhood education. But she subsequently made a motion to make the vote unanimous for Bowden, a motion which passed 5-0.

Although there were no votes for the third finalist — Mark Porter, superintendent of Monroe County Schools — Board members cited the strength of all three finalists. Frank Kovach said, “Any one of the three of the finalists could be successful here,” but said he is a “huge believer in promoting from within,” citing the success of current superintendent Lori White and former superintendent Wilma Hamilton, both of whom rose from the ranks in the district. Board member Jane Goodwin agreed, saying Bowden will “hit the ground running.”

All the Board members thanked the Florida School Boards Association, which consulted on the process; the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, which facilitated public forums, a public reception for the finalists and other opportunities for public input; and the advisory community which reviewed 49 applications and recommended eight semi-finalists for superintendent.  

Bowden said, “I am extremely grateful to the School Board for the confidence they have placed in me.” He credited White for being “responsible in large part for my success in this district. It is such a well-run, respected district and I want to perpetuate that trust the community has in us.”

Before coming to work for Sarasota County Schools in 2007, Bowden served in various roles at the Hillsborough County School District, including principal of Gary Adult High School, principal of Aparicio-Levy Technical Center and assistant principal for curriculum at Bloomingdale High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida, a master’s in business administration from Florida State University, and a master’s and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.

A Florida native, Bowden grew up in Brandon and Valrico and attended Bloomingdale High. He and his wife Janene have two children who attend McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota: son Bobby, a sixth-grade student; and daughter Johnna, an eighth-grader.

The next step is the School Board’s negotiation of a contract with Bowden, a process that is expected to begin at the Board’s next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1. White is set to retire Feb. 28, 2017. After an approximately two-week overlap starting in mid-February, Bowden will begin as the next superintendent March 1.

Click here for supporting documents about the Sarasota County Schools superintendent search.



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