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Duval County School Board Chooses 3 Superintendent Finalists

During a short meeting Monday evening, board members eliminated two superintendent contenders bringing the list of five semi-finalists down to three finalists.

Michael Dunsmore, Diana Greene and Erick Pruitt made the cut.

This comes after board members met with the semi-finalists in private, one-on-one meetings last week. And focus groups made up of educators, parents, students and community leaders interviewed the semi-finalists in open meetings over the weekend.

Board members Becki Couch, Cheryl Grymes, Lori Hershey and Paula Wright all voted to eliminate Sito Narcisse and Harrison Peters; while Warren Jones, Scott Shine and Ashley Smith Juarez voted Erick Pruitt and Michael Dunsmore as their bottom two.

No board members voted to eliminate Diana Greene, the superintendent of the Manatee County school district.
The board will interview the three candidates Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 9 a.m. in the Cline Auditorium, which is inside the Duval County Public Schools Administration Building at 1701 Prudential Dr.

Representatives from the district’s chosen search firm encouraged board members to call the finalists’ references throughout the week.

The board is aiming to vote on a new superintendent late Friday afternoon.

The Finalists

Michael Dunsmore —  Superintendent, Wayne County Public Schools

District Enrollment: 19,600, Budget: $195 million, resume

Dunsmore has led Wayne County Public Schools in North Carolina since 2015. Prior to that he was superintendent for Tyrrell County Schools. Dunsmore was the head college wrestling coach at Shippensburg University for eight years until 2001.

Diana Greene — Superintendent, School District of Manatee County

District Enrollment: 49,000, Budget: $886 million, resume

Greene has been Manatee County’s superintendent since 2015. Prior to that she was a deputy superintendent in Manatee County and held in various roles with Marion County’s school district. Greene began her career teaching in Duval County for about a year in 1985.

Erick Pruitt  —  Area Superintendent, Houston Independent School District

District Enrollment: 215,000, Budget: $1.5 Billion, resume

Pruitt has worked with the Houston district since 2014. Prior to Houston he spent 16 years in Chicago working his way up after starting as a teacher. He’s also a former Marine.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.