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The Hillsborough School Board names Van Ayres as its interim superintendent

 Van Ayres sitting down and smiling
Hillsborough County Schools
Van Ayres will step into the role of interim superintendent on July 15th. Ayres was recommended by outgoing superintendent Addison Davis.

In a unanimous vote, the Hillsborough County School Board appointed Van Ayres as interim superintendent following Addison Davis' resignation. He will start July 15.

Van Ayres will step into the role of Hillsborough County School interim superintendent beginning July 15th.

The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to name him to the position.

Outgoing superintendent Addison Davis sent a letter of resignation to the board last week, just one day after the Sarasota County School Board chose Hillsborough Deputy Superintendent Terrence Connor as their new superintendent

Davis recommended Ayres to the board.

 Man in a suit stands in front of a background with blurred shrubbery.
Hillsborough County Schools
Van Ayres will step into the role of Interim Superintendent on July 15th. Ayres was recommended by Outgoing Superintendent Addison Davis.

"When I walk through schools, it's like walking with (Henry) 'Shake' Washington, everyone knows Van Ayres," Davis said, referring to the longtime district employee who currently serves as the board's vice chairman.

"Everyone knows (Ayres), they respect him, they care about him, and right now, as a transition, I think he's the perfect fit."

Board member Stacy Hahn said the culture and climate of the district has been struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic, but she feels Ayres could bring a sense of stability.

“I think he can have an enormous positive impact on that given his relationship with schools and the community,” she said.

According to a district press release, Ayres, who was born in Tampa, has spent his entire career with Hillsborough County Schools. Since joining the district in 1997, he has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. The latter job came at his alma mater, Jefferson High School.

Ayres became deputy superintendent in 2012, where he helped lead the effort to improve the district's graduation rate by 12 percent over five years.

The board also voted 6-1 to extend Ayres' contract as interim superintendent from six months to 12 months.

Members agreed on the need for transparency and community input in the selection of a new, permanent superintendent.

While Ayres voiced interest in taking the job on a permanent basis, board officials think they might have more than a dozen applicants from inside and outside the district.

A special meeting will take place on June 27 for board members to outline the process and timeline for selecting a new superintendent.

Nothing about my life has been typical. Before I fell in love with radio journalism, I enjoyed a long career in the arts in musical theatre.