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Polk County Selects Longtime Florida Educator As New School Superintendent

Screenshot of Frederick Heid interview
Polk County Public Schools
Frederick R. Heid interviews for the superintendent position at Polk County Public Schools. He was selected during a school board meeting on April 27, 2021.

Frederick R. Heid, school superintendent in Algonquin, Ill., is a USF graduate who served as a teacher and principal at middle schools in Orlando.

A longtime Florida educator and University of South Florida graduate has been chosen to lead the Polk County School District.

Frederick Heid was selected from among five candidates during a school board meeting Tuesday night.

Heid has served as superintendent of the Community Unit School District in Algonquin, Illinois, since 2014. Prior to that, he was chief academic officer for Duval County schools from 2012-2014.

In his cover letter, Heid cites his “over nine years of experience in large urban Florida school districts” as a reason for his consideration.

Super Search Finalist Interview | Frederick Heid

Heid began his career as a middle school teacher in Sarasota after earning his Master’s degree in educational leadership from USF in 1999.

He eventually served as principal at middle schools in Orlando and also spent two years in a supervisory role at the Florida Department of Education.

Of his time as Algonquin superintendent, Heid wrote: “I have served to enhance program supports, improve student outcomes, and create a culture of innovation that has led to significant improvements for our staff, students, and community.”

Heid replaces Jacqueline Byrd, who retired in February after five years as superintendent.

Byrd announced her retirement last May in a strongly worded letter to the school board that cited “disharmony” among board members.

In the letter, Byrd said she accepted the position of superintendent in 2016 during “a time of turmoil for our district” marked by “low academic performance, a lack of civility and professionalism, and an almost irreparable level of distrust towards the district with the Polk County community.”

The school board is expected to approve Heid's contract during its meeting May 11.

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