Monroe County schools Superintendent Mark Porter has ended his job search, which went as far as making the short lists for the same job in both Sarasota and St. Johns counties, and wants to stay in the Keys.
Porter announced his decision to stay put despite still being in the running for the St. Johns post.
Monday, Porter sent a letter to the team running the St. Johns superintendent search to say he is withdrawing his name. St. Johns’ search was tripped up by Hurricane Matthew and interviews for the four finalists, including Porter, were rescheduled from early October to Nov. 1.
Porter’s “decision was made after a great deal of thought and consideration and is based on several professional and personal reasons,” he said at Tuesday’s School Board meeting in Key West.
But the greatest factor in taking himself out of the competition to head the much larger school district was the effect it was having on Monroe County schools, Porter said.
“This extended process that was originally contemplated to be completed in October was beginning to have detrimental effects on the leadership and the progress of Monroe County schools,” Porter said. “I’m no longer a candidate.”
The School Board of Sarasota County on Oct. 18 chose Todd Bowden, the district’s executive director of career, technical and adult education, to succeed Lori White, who is scheduled to retire Feb. 28. Porter, one of three finalists, received no votes from the board.
Porter was selected in 2012 by a 4-1 School Board vote to become the first hired superintendent in Monroe County. He moved down from his native Minnesota, where he worked at the same district for 32 years.
Porter earns $150,000 a year plus a travel stipend of $7,080, and hasn’t had a raise since he started. His contract runs through July 31, 2017.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen