Duval Superintendent in running for Detroit Schools top spot

Jacksonville, FL — Duval’s Superintendent is being considered for the top spot in Detroit Schools.

As first reported by the Detroit Free Press, Dr. Nikolai Vitti is one of three finalists in the search for a Detroit Public Schools Community Superintendent. WOKV has confirmed Vitti is exploring the opportunity.

“Over the years, I have been asked and recruited to consider opportunities in other school districts, charter networks, and in the private sector. I have not considered those opportunities for over four years. Most recently, I was recruited by a search firm to consider returning home to serve the City of Detroit as its superintendent,” says a statement from Vitti.

He says Detroit faces challenges as a traditional public education system, and it was not something he could walk away from.

“Detroit is, and will always be in my DNA. I feel a sense of responsibility to explore the opportunity to determine if there is a match between the newly elected school board and me,” he says.

Vitti says, while that process continues, he remains focused on his current responsibility as Duval Superintendent.

“It has been an honor to work in a district and more importantly on a team that has been recognized nationally and statewide for our work with the shift in standards and curriculum selection, innovative school programming, leadership development, community engagement through a strong communication and marketing plan, expansion of the arts, narrowing the achievement gap, supporting overage students, and improving low performing schools,” he says.

School Board Member Scott Shine says seeing Vitti leave would be a loss to Duval’s public school system, and he hopes that Vitti opts to stay here. He also expressed support, though, for whatever Vitti’s ultimate decision is.

“Dr. Vitti is from Detroit and still has family and many friends in that community. We talked at length about his decision and I know the idea of returning to his home city is a significant factor in his interest in Detroit Schools. I told Dr. Vitti that I support his continued employment with DCPS and welcome him to stay. But, that he has done an exceptional job with our school district and I will support him and recommend him in seeking the Superintendent position in Detroit, if that is the direction he wants to take.,” says a statement from Shine.

The President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Trey Csar, says Vitti has helped boost this District, and it would be difficult to see him go.

“On a personal level, I am happy for Dr. Vitti to potentially have the opportunity to bring that commitment and expertise to his hometown. On a professional level, I know that should he be offered and accept this position I would join city leaders, parents and public education advocates in being terribly sad to see him leave,” the statement says.

The Detroit Free Press reports that candidate interviews with the finalists are next, although the timeline is unclear.

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