School Superintendent Larry Leaven will leave his post at Florida Union Free School District Nov. 30, 2022.
The decision to split from Florida Union Free School District was amicable, Leaven told The Warwick Advertiser.
“The district has been a really positive place to work...the work around instructional practices, around building relationships with our teachers and staff and parents; that was, and always has been over the course of the year, incredibly supportive and incredibly positive” he said. “I found really positive relationships with the teachers and the administrators. Some of the best kids I’ve worked with, in my 33 years, are in Florida.”
A shift in the community
It was never his intent, however, to leave before completing his contract. But an increasingly vocal social media group, “Moms for Liberty,” repeatedly called for Leaven’s resignation with online posts Leaven indicated were misleading -- such as those about the book “Gender Queer” and mask wearing in schools.
“The community changed,” said Leaven. “My goal, the teachers’ goal, and the principals’ goal, is to continue to support and serve the students. But when there’s constant noise in the community...well, it’s a distraction,” he said. “The last thing I want to be is an ongoing distraction.”
The district posted online a two-sentence statement from Leaven to announce his resignation: “I will be stepping away from my position as Superintendent of the Florida Union Free School District on November 30, 2022. It has been a pleasure to practice my craft alongside some of the best in education. I look forward to hearing great things about the Florida learning community and wish everyone well as they continue to connect, lead, and empower the leaders of tomorrow.”
Other than the online statement the school board “has no other comment about the resignation,” said board president Rob Andrade.
A meeting was held November 10 to approve Leaven’s resignation. All five board of education members were present alongside District Clerk Leta Jagielski, and approximately 18 people in the audience.
Board of Education president Rob Andrade, vice president Lori Gorcsos, and members Leslie Hill and Robert J Scheuermann voted yes.
One board member, John Redman, voted no “on the basis of budget implications,” according to preliminary meeting minutes.
The board then unanimously decided to request proposals from superintendent search firms.
The next Florida Board of Education meeting is Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
“I found really positive relationships with the teachers and the administrators. Some of the best kids I’ve worked with, in my 33 years, are in Florida.”
- Superintendent Larry Leaven