FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Broward County School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the contract agreement with new Superintendent Dr. Peter B. Licata, who was most recently was regional superintendent for the Palm Beach County School District.
Licata, 58, will lead the sixth-largest school system in the nation and second-largest in Florida with more than 190,000 students and 180 campuses after a national search for candidates. Palm Beach County's district ranks fifth in the state and 10th in the nation,
He was approved for the job on June 15 in a 7-2 board vote. He was a finalist in Broward County in a 2022 search before he withdrew.
"I am grateful to the Broward County School Board for the opportunity to serve this District and its students, families, staff and community members," Licata, who assumed the post immediately, said in a statement. "My goal is for Broward County Public Schools to be known as a district that is student-centered, teacher-supported and principal-led, and I’m excited to get started."
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Education
He will be paid $350,000 per year for three years, with a $10,000 bonus if the district achieves and maintains an A rating. Broward County has been B-rated for years while Palm Beach County has been a perennial A-rated school district.
He'll also have to move from Boynton Beach to Broward County within a year under a provision added to his contract.
"Today's School Board decision signifies the end of our formal process for selecting a new transformational leader," School Board Chair Lori Alhadeff said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Dr. Licata to ensure our students receive the world-class education they deserve."
After the board member, Licata appeared at a news conference.
"I've been an expectant father for the past three weeks — a father waiting to give birth to this job," he said.
Licata has worked for Palm Beach schools since September 1994. He oversaw 59 schools on the southern end of the county since 2019. Previously he was principal at Olympic Heights High School west of Boca Raton. He also was a teacher, coach, assistant principal and curriculum director.
He has a doctorate degree in global leadership from Lynn University, a master's degree from Barry University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami.
He was one of three finalists for the position. The others were Luis Solano, deputy superintendent, Detroit School District; and Sito Narcisse, superintendent, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana School District.
Licata replaces former school superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright, who was ousted earlier this year over her leadership style. Cartwright only held the top job in Broward County schools for about a year.