New Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Meets Public At West Shore Jr./Sr. High
By Cyndi Byars // July 31, 2015
MORE THAN 140 PEOPLE TURN OUT
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard Public Schools hosted a Meet and Greet Open House at West Shore Jr./Sr. High on Wednesday for the public to speak with new superintendent, Dr. Desmond Blackburn.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools hosted a Meet and Greet Open House at West Shore Jr./Sr. High on Wednesday for the public to speak with new superintendent, Dr. Desmond Blackburn.
More than 140 parents, students and educators turned out to meet Blackburn. School board members also in attendance included Amy Kneessy, John Craig, Karen Henderson and Andy Ziegler.
Blackburn discussed his background in education, which began with his tenure as a math teacher in the public school system.
He reviewed his priorities, including improving morale among Brevard County School system employees, becoming acquainted with the needs of Brevard County citizens, and strategic planning, with “People – Process – Performance” at the heart of his presentation.
Blackburn took questions from the audience on topics ranging from standardized testing and state-mandated EOC’s (end of course exams) to adding gifted programs for elementary students. Additional questions covered subjective vs. objective teacher assessment practices and the percentage of local families choosing charter schools.
His recounting of meeting a 10-year old concerned with future FCATs and EOC tests – and the superintendent’s chagrin at encountering test anxiety in a student so young – brought the evening’s largest round of applause.
Blackburn encouraged attendees to share concerns with him on social media channels, saying “I want to leverage social media, and feel free to ‘friend’ me, ‘follow’ me and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”
Blackburn concluded by citing Brevard County Public Schools as a high-performing district, and stressed his intent to collaborate with parents and educators to advance the school system and student achievement.
The School Board of Brevard Public Schools, in a 4-1 vote, selected Blackburn in June as their final candidate to lead the 73,000 student school district.
Blackburn officially began his tenure with Brevard Public Schools on July 20, and will be paid an annual salary of $210,000 with any future raises tied to performance.