Who's on Broward County's shortlist to be the next superintendent?
This week, Broward County School Board members are mulling over the list of seven semifinalists they chose to move forward in the search for the district's next superintendent.
The candidates have passed preliminary reference checks and social media screenings. A search firm hired by the district will conduct a more in-depth background check on the candidates the school board chooses to be finalists.
The board is scheduled to make their top picks at a meeting on Tuesday May 30. Finalists will be invited to visit Broward County on June 14 and 15.
WLRN's Kate Payne looked through their applications and other sources to compile these profiles.
READ MORE: Broward School Board picks seven semifinalists in superintendent search
Dr. Peter Licata
Licata has served as the South Region Superintendent in the School District of Palm Beach County since 2019. A product of Broward County Public Schools, Licata worked as a classroom teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal in the SDPBC before moving into district administration. Licata is a frequent applicant to superintendent searches across Florida and was a semifinalist in Broward’s search in 2022 that led to the appointment of Vickie Cartwright.
- describes himself as "born and raised in Broward County"
- touts his experience building relationships in the South Florida community
- past superintendent candidate in Brevard, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Indian River and Orange Counties
Read Licata's full application here.
Dr. Sito Narcisse
Narcisse has been the superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Louisiana since 2021. Narcisse has also worked as a district administrator in Metro Nashville Public Schools and District of Columbia Public Schools. Previously, he worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal at public schools in Williamson County, TN, Pittsburgh and Boston. The child of Haitian immigrants, Narcisse is fluent in Haitian Creole and French, according to his application. Narcisse is the only sitting superintendent in the semifinalist pool.
- sitting superintendent during COVID
- Alberto Carvalho — the former superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools and now the leader of the Los Angeles United School District — wrote Narcisse a letter of recommendation
- faced criticism over a field trip that students say was a religious event billed as a college fair
Read Narcisse's full application here.
Dr. Jason Nault
Nault has been the Associate Superintendent of the Waukegan Community Unit School District #60 in Waukegan, IL, since 2018. He previously served as the principal of J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, and as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in Chicago Public Schools. Nault’s references touted his experience in Broward and described him as an “innovator” who’s been “helpful in staffing hard to fill positions.”
- oversees equity-related initiatives in his current role
- first job in education was as a high school social studies teacher
- says he's spent his career serving large, diverse urban districts
Read Nault's full application here.
Paul has been the Chief Operating Officer of the Houston Independent School District since 2021. Before that, she was the COO of the School District of Palm Beach County, and the COO of the Dallas Independent School District. In her application, she emphasizes her business and operations experience and her work overseeing multiple bond programs, including a $2.1 billion construction bond in Houston. Paul is also a U.S. Army veteran.
- according to her resume, Paul spent 10 years in the Army, including as a platoon leader
- two decades of experience in school maintenance, facilities and operations
Read Paul's full application here.
Solano has been with the Detroit Public Schools Community District since 2017, serving as the Deputy Superintendent of Labor and the Chief Operating Officer. Solano previously worked as an administrator in Collier County Public Schools, and as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. According to his application, Solano is fluent in Spanish and credits his teachers for helping him become the first in his family to fluently speak, read and write in English. Solano is also a U.S. Army veteran.
- former principal of Miami Norland Senior High School in Miami Gardens
- immigrated to the U.S. with his family at age 9
- describes himself as a "strong bilingual communicator", an "innovator" and a "transformational instructional leader"
Read Solano's full application here.
Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri
Raichoudhuri previously served as the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools in Michigan. She resigned in 2022, due to a ”misalignment of values with certain members of the board", according to her application. Local news outlets reported that Raichoudhuri accused some school board members of creating a “toxic work environment” — claims they have denied. Raichoudhuri previously worked as a principal and district administrator in Chicago Public Schools.
- sitting superintendent during COVID
- rated "highly effective" by Kalamazoo Schools officials before her resignation
- immigrated to the U.S. from India at age 9
Read Raichoudhuri's full application here.
Dr. Valerie Wanza
Wanza is the only internal candidate to apply for the job. She was appointed BCPS’ Acting Chief of Staff in February 2023, and briefly served as the district's task-assigned Superintendent after then-Superintendent Vickie Cartwright stepped down. Wanza has been an administrator in the district since 2007, after working her way up as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. She has the support of some local stakeholders, though multiple school board members have said they want the next superintendent to be an external candidate.
- 31 years of experience in BCPS
- worked as a teacher at Dillard High and as the principal of the Lanier-James Education Center
- describes herself as visionary, high-performing and data-informed
Read Wanza's full application here.