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Addison Davis Named New Hillsborough County School Superintendent

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Addison Davis, the current Superintendent of Clay County Public Schools, has been chosen to be the new Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools. COURTESY Hillsborough County School Board

The Hillsborough County School Board has selected Addison Davis to serve as its new Superintendent.

Davis, who currently is the Superintendent of Clay County Public Schools, is the first superintendent hired from outside the Hillsborough County School District’s ranks since 1967.

After a series of board meetings, the members of the board interviewed the three finalists Tuesday before choosing Davis over Peter Licata, regional superintendent for Palm Beach County, and Don Haddad, superintendent of the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado.

“I’m so proud about the opportunity. I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” Davis said after the announcement. “I promise I will work tirelessly and everything we do will be on behalf of the children.”

Davis replaces Jeff Eakins, who will retire when his contract expires this June.

Davis became Superintendent of Clay County schools in 2016. He was named as a 2017-2018 Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association, an award which recognizes superintendents leadership and strong communication skills. He was also named the Sunshine State Public Relations Association's 2019 Superintendent Communicator of the Year last December.

Before Clay County, Davis served as the Chief of Schools for Duval County, the nation’s 20th largest school district with over 120,000 students. But he will have his hands full as the superintendent of the Hillsborough County District.

Davis will oversee 250 schools with more than 15,000 teachers and over 200,000 students in the third-largest school district in Florida and the eighth largest in the country.

Davis was one of 51 applicants for the Hillsborough position, a job search that took over seven months to conduct.

In the final board meeting, Davis spoke strongly, promising to give a personal touch to the job.

“We’ve got to make sure we push our children, their cognitive demands, every single day,” he said. “All to be able to understand the shifts in the standards and to be able to help create bite-sized actual feedback to every one of our teachers every single day to help them enhance their craft and create magic every day for our children.”

The next step is negotiating a contract. Board Attorney Jim Porter said he anticipates bringing a contract for the board to review and approve at their Feb. 18 meeting.

Dylan Rudolph is the WUSF Radio News Intern for the spring 2020 semester.