Current superintendent Bill Vogel announced earlier in the year he would retire in June. The board unanimously voted for Griffin over two other candidates, Mark Porter and Scott Howat.
Walt Griffin - '27 Years of Experience'
Griffin is currently the secondary education director for Seminole County schools. He was hired for the role in 2007 after serving as principal of Seminole High School for eight years. According to his resume, Griffin has spent his nearly 30-year educational career within Seminole County.
Griffin was named a "Turn Around Principal" by the state education department for improving both Millennium Middle School and Seminole High School by two full letter grades. Through his work as a director for Seminole County, Griffin helped increase the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses from 4,526 in 2007 to 5,869 in 2011.
Mark Porter - 'Quality Leadership'
Porter is the superintendent of South Washington County schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His education career began in 1978 when Porter served as a teacher and coach at Spring Lake Park in Minnesota.
In 1993, Porter became a trial attorney for Hvass, Weisman & King in Minneapolis. However, during his six-year career as an attorney, Porter also served as a Human Resources Director for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district in Minnesota.
During his three years as a superintendent, Porter has overseen the opening of a new high school and implemented dual credit options such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.
Scott Howat - 'Dedicated to Success'
Howat has served as the Director of Labor and Legislative Relations for Orange County for six years. He is also a board of trustee member at Seminole State College.
Howat has worked his entire educational career in Orange County, beginning with a teaching and administrative dean position at University High School in 1991. He was eventually named Assistant Principal of University High in 2002.
According to his letter to the board, Howat believes he is the best candidate because of his experiences with federal and state accountability systems, which in turn could help the district earn more money from the state and federal governments.
Meanwhile, teachers protested outside of the Educational Support Center in Sanford because they say the board is expected to reject pay raises for the next year.