Bill Malone talks about new role as Palm Beach County's interim superintendent

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Bill Malone's had little more than a day for the idea to sink in.

Nine of the last 24 hours were spent at Wednesday night's Palm Beach County School Board meeting.

Malone, the district's former Chief Operating Officer, watched as the board fired superintendent Art Johnson.

They named Malone interim superintendent minutes later.

"As the meeting wore on last night and it kept getting uglier and uglier, I had serious second thoughts," says Malone.  "As the board was ready to vote, and each and every board member talked about how important it is now for every body to pull together, that's when I felt like it was going to have a decent chance to work."

Malone knows he has a tough job ahead.

The district was divided over Johnson, Palm Beach County's superintendent for ten years.

Principals supported him, but teachers and parents wanted him out.

Malone says biggest task is also his first.

"I think that my focus is also going to be on the healing process, just going out, talking to people, getting input from the people who want to give input, talking about lowering the temperature," he says. 

Malone made it clear, to the board and to us, he will only be the interim superintendent.

He lives in High Springs, near Gainesville, a place he hopes to return to after his job here is done.

"I think we can do a lot and I think, when school starts next August, that people can say we're on a positive glide path," he says.

Malone officially takes over Tuesday.

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