Van Ayres is superintendent of schools

One after the other, members of the Hillsborough County Faculty Board on Thursday praised their interim superintendent, Van Ayres, earlier than voting unanimously to present him the everlasting job.

Board member Karen Perez stated your entire group was “ecstatic” that Ayres, 49 and a district worker since he graduated from the College of Tampa, was being thought of for the job. Member Jessica Vaughn informed him, “Straight from day one I began to see your management.”

Added member Henry “Shake” Washington, who has greater than 40 years within the faculty system: “No matter I can do to assist you, you name Shake. He’ll.”

It has been 4 months since Ayres stepped in after the abrupt resignation of Superintendent Addison Davis. Many of the seven board members remarked on the truth that, wherever they might go, district employees had been asking after they would make Ayres’ place official.

“To say that I’m proud and privileged is an understatement,” Ayres stated after the vote and applause.

“I like this district. I’ll do no matter to assist this group, my group and this board. The assist that you just all gave me at present, and to have all seven, means so, a lot.”

He informed the board, “We set the instance up right here day by day in what we do. So let’s not neglect that we do this, and it’s main with a way of kindness. We could be nice leaders, however we achieve this being variety to 1 one other and setting expectations.”

Pertaining to a time a number of years in the past when he stated he was not able to develop into superintendent, Ayres seemed out at his youngsters — Sophia, 21, and Ian, 18 — who had been within the viewers with their grandparents, retired educators Van Ayres Sr. and Nuri Ayres.

Van Ayres' family stood and listened as he spoke about them at Thursday's school board meeting. They are, from left: his mother, Nuri Ayres; his father, Van Ayres; his daughter, Sophia Ayres; and his son, Ian Ayres.
Van Ayres’ household stood and listened as he spoke about them at Thursday’s faculty board assembly. They’re, from left: his mom, Nuri Ayres; his father, Van Ayres; his daughter, Sophia Ayres; and his son, Ian Ayres. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

He stated he may settle for the superintendents’ job now, with Sophia and Ian away at school. Once they had been youthful, he stated, Sophia was a dancer and Ian performed baseball. He insisted on being current at their video games and performances.

And he urged others within the viewers to do the identical.

Ayres’ contract requires an annual wage of $330,000 that may be raised yearly by 4% if different 12-month directors are additionally given will increase. Faculty Board Legal professional Jim Porter identified that he agreed to situations that vastly favor the board if they’re sad with Ayres’ work. The brand new superintendent could be dismissed with a easy majority.

Earlier than voting on Ayres, the board permitted contracts with the district’s academics and assist staff unions. Additionally they permitted a pay plan for directors, with a dedication from Ayres that he’ll quickly search for methods to extend directors’ pay.

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In selecting Ayres, the district has reverted to an extended custom of hiring from inside, regardless of its standing because the nation’s seventh-largest faculty system.

Solely as soon as in current a long time has Hillsborough carried out a nationwide search. That search, in 2019, yielded Davis, a Florida native who transferred from the a lot smaller Clay County.

Davis, who noticed himself as a change agent, succeeded in chopping prices to finish an extended interval of deficit spending that had angered state leaders. He additionally decreased the variety of persistently underperforming colleges in Hillsborough, which led the state in that class earlier than he arrived.

Hillsborough County School Board member Henry “Shake” Washington reacts when he speaks about Superintendent Van Ayres during a board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Tampa.
Hillsborough County Faculty Board member Henry “Shake” Washington reacts when he speaks about Superintendent Van Ayres throughout a board assembly on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Tampa. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

However Davis’ mantra of “educate like your hair’s on fireplace” wore skinny among the many employees. Principals stated he was too vulnerable to micromanaging.

Ayres is seen largely as somebody who could make powerful choices, however in a gentler method and with a larger diploma of belief amongst coworkers he has identified his complete life.

In his remarks, he didn’t point out a few of the tougher issues he should do — for instance, closing and consolidating underenrolled colleges in a course of that Davis started final yr.

There’s additionally a have to marketing campaign for a property tax referendum so Hillsborough will be capable to compete for expertise with Pinellas and Pasco counties, which have already got particular taxes to assist the academics.

Ayres named early studying, literacy and commencement charges as a few of his prime priorities.

“We’ve got lots of work to do,” he stated. “A lot, a lot work to do. However I’m up for the problem.”

And twice he repeated, “I cannot allow you to down.”

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