Rodriguez will begin work July 1

Board approves new superintendent’s contract
Posted on 05/23/2019
Frank Rodriguez

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Board approves new superintendent’s contract;
Rodriguez scheduled to begin work on July 1

BEAUFORT – The Beaufort County Board of Education today approved a four-year contract with Frank Rodriguez, the veteran educator selected to lead the district.   

A statement from the Board said its members are looking forward to working with Rodriguez, who is currently a regional superintendent in the 193,000-student School District of Palm Beach County (Fla).   The Board’s statement said Rodriguez will begin work on July 1.

Under the approved contract, Rodriguez will be paid an annual salary of $210,200.  Details of the contract will be made public after it is officially signed by both parties.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with our Board members, teachers, staff and administrators,” Rodriguez said.  “In everything we do, we’re going to put students first and dedicate ourselves to making each one of them successful.”

Rodriguez was selected through a process that began with 110 applications from around the country.  Hazard Young Attea and Associates, the Illinois-based educational executive search firm hired by the Board to coordinate the search, selected 48 applicants with professional experiences and personal characteristics that matched a Leadership Profile approved by the Board.  That 50-page report was compiled from feedback gathered from more than 1,000 county residents – 366 who attended a series of focus groups and town hall meetings in December and 697 who responded to an online survey.

HYA screened the top 48 applications and presented nine to the Board, which decided to invite seven candidates to Beaufort for personal interviews on March 30.  The Board conducted follow-up interviews and selected Rodriguez and Virginia administrator Terry Dade as finalists.

Both men appeared at an April 16 public forum in Beaufort and answered questions posed by parents, students, district employees and community members.  Forum attendees completed feedback sheets, and those results were reviewed by Board members.  The public forum was also broadcast live by The County Channel.

Both finalists underwent in-depth background reviews by independent third-party investigators.  Those reviews included academic credentials, personal credit reports, criminal and civil histories, and a news media and social media review.

Board Chair Christina Gwozdz said the public’s participation in the selection process was invaluable for Board members.

“The Leadership Profile was created entirely from public feedback, and it became the foundation for our nationwide search and for many of our interview questions with candidates,” Gwozdz said.  “We also got additional feedback at the end of the selection process from community members who participated in the public forum with our two finalists.”

Rodriguez will replace Interim Superintendent Herb Berg, who has led the district during the search process.  His first official day on the job will be July 1.

Rodriguez began his career in Boca Raton, Fla., as a high school social studies and technology teacher before becoming a program coordinator at Florida Atlantic University, then a district social studies secondary curriculum supervisor for the Palm Beach County School District.  He went on to become a high school assistant principal, an elementary school principal and a high school principal before serving in a variety of district-level administrative roles in Palm Beach County.

For the past three years, Rodriguez has been a regional superintendent in Palm Beach County supervising 54 schools and 58,000 students in diverse communities.  In his application, he said student achievement had improved, achievement gaps had decreased and high school graduation rates had increased to 91 percent.  He led the district’s regional efforts to pass two bond referendums in three years.

Rodriguez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies Education from Florida State University, a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.  He has continued his studies by completing the National Superintendents Academy as well as completing several K-12 institutes for K-12 education leaders at Harvard University.

He received a 2016 Leadership Award from the Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County.