State Board of Education Moves Forward with Search for Commissioner of Education

By: DOE Press Release Email
By: DOE Press Release Email

Tallahassee, Fla., Sept. 7, 2012 – The State Board of Education today moved forward with the search for the next Commissioner of Education approving the candidate profile developed by Ray and Associates. The search firm is conducting a nationwide search for Florida’s chief education officer who will be responsible for all aspects of the state’s Pre-K–20 education system. The deadline for applications is Sept. 27, 2012.

In other action, the board elected Gary Chartrand to serve as Chair of the State Board of Education after current Chair Kathleen Shanahan announced that she would be stepping down from her leadership position based on the increasing demands of her rapidly growing Florida-based company. Ms. Shanahan began her tenure on the state board in January 2006 and will continue to serve on the board through the end of her term in December 2013.

“My decision to step down as Chair of the State Board of Education was difficult,” said Ms. Shanahan. “But in the past year my company has grown from doing business in one state to eight and it is continuing to expand. I believe it is important to have continuity of the same chairperson to guide the search, selection, and transition to the next education commissioner and I am confident that Gary Chartrand will guide Florida ably through this process.”

“I want to thank Kathleen Shanahan for her dedicated service to the children of Florida,” said State Board Chair Chartrand. “Her vision and commitment to accountability and performance-based quality education for every Florida student will continue to be a guidepost from her member seat.”

Appointed to the State Board of Education on May 16, 2011, Gary Chartrand is Executive Chairman of the Board for Acosta, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency based in Jacksonville. He has a record of leadership in his industry and his community and has been particularly committed to making a difference in education. He was instrumental in leading a community effort to bring Teach for America to Jacksonville and provided financial support to KIPP Schools of Jacksonville to open their first school in Florida. He currently serves in numerous leadership positions with local non-profit organizations throughout Duval County, including Chairman of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and director on the board of the KIPP schools in Jacksonville. More information can be found in his state board profile, Gary Chartrand.


Tallahassee, Fla., August 2, 2012 – The State Board of Education met via conference call today and unanimously approved Pam Stewart, Chancellor of Public Schools at the Florida Department of Education, to serve as interim Commissioner of Education when Commissioner Gerard Robinson steps down August 31.

In her current role, Chancellor Stewart leads the largest educational division in the department overseeing student achievement, curriculum, educator quality, and support for Florida’s PreK-12 education system, which serves more than 2.6 million students and 189,000 educators.

The board also took action to move forward quickly with a search to fill the vacancy created by Commissioner Robinson’s resignation and unanimously approved working with a search firm to facilitate the process.

“We are fortunate to have someone with the skills, experience and relationships with district leaders throughout the state who is able to help us through this transition,” said State Board of Education Chair Kathleen Shanahan. “While we would like to have the search process move forward quickly, it is important that we take the time necessary to find the right leader for our state’s educational system. We have accomplished a great deal during the past year and Pam will help ensure that we continue to move forward.”

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