STUART, Fla. — The Martin County School District's new superintendent was sworn into office at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Dr. John Millay was hired as the district's first appointed superintendent. Superintendents had previously been elected for the school district.
In some of his first comments, he described what his priority will be.
"In real estate, it's location. In education, it's relationships, relationships, relationships," Millay said. "So, first and foremost, that's what we need to do."
Millay comes to Martin County from Kentucky, bringing with him decades of experience in education as a teacher, principal and, most recently, a superintendent.
He is stepping in to lead the Martin County School District following the retirement of Laurie Gaylord, and in the middle of a pandemic.
"I'm very proud of the teachers. They work so hard," Millay said. "We're in there to support them and be safe, so we're going to continue to monitor it closely and ask the community for more and more help and flexibility as we get through this."
He did not indicate any desire to change the way the district is handling the pandemic with remote learning and the availability of in-person learning in schools.
"But I do want to encourage all of our families and the community to help us," he said. "A lot of the cases don't occur at school. They're brought in. So, especially during this upcoming Thanksgiving season, when families will be together more, be mindful and wear a mask. Those things we do as a community impact the school community, so we need their help."
He also wants the community to know his mindset when approaching big decisions in the future.
"I'll always speak first as a dad, so I hope they know how much I care, having three children of my own," Millay said. "I know how personal education is, and when you're dealing with people's children, it's the most personal."
He is also grateful for the welcome he has received.
"The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me," Millay said. "No matter where you go, you meet kind people. You meet welcoming people. It's been more than I could have asked for."