Miami-Dade School Board Narrows Down Search for New Superintendent

The board narrowed it down to Dr. Jose Dotres, Jacob Oliva and Dr. Rafaela Espinal

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The Miami-Dade School Board has narrowed down the list of applicants to just three candidates who could be the next superintendent of the school district. 

The decision to pick the top three took place at a lengthy special school board meeting on Tuesday. 

The meeting started at 10 a.m. and didn’t finish until around 3:30 p.m. 

The board decided to bring in Dr. Jose Dotres, Jacob Oliva and Dr. Rafaela Espinal in for a publicly noticed meeting and interview to take questions from the board and the community. 

All three have experience as either a superintendent or deputy superintendent. 

“What I proposed and was passed is that we invite the top three candidates to come back to a publicly noticed meeting where each of them would have to be separated and taken up one at a time so that no one has an advantage,” said school board member Christi Fraga.

“I think it’s imperative that we give all the candidates an opportunity to come to interview in a public setting because we work for the public,” said school board member Mari Tere Rojas.

There has been public criticism about the short, one-week deadline to apply. Some people in the community have expressed concern about transparency and the lack of a national search. 

“It is not too late to change. Let’s appoint an interim director to steer this ship until we can do a national search where we can find the best candidates that will lead our schools,” said one public speaker at Tuesday’s meeting. 

“There has been a narrative out there that has been erroneous and there’s been misconceptions,” said Rojas. “There is no such candidate that I know of that anyone has decided on except for a statement that was made by one of my colleagues today as to how my colleague felt. But that obviously was withdrawn. That did not pass.”

The board has not set a date yet for the public meeting for the candidates to interview. 

Whoever is selected will replace outgoing Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who is leaving in early February to take a job as the superintendent in Los Angeles. 

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