STUART, Fla. — The Martin County School Board voted 3-2 Tuesday to appoint Dr. John D. Millay to become the new superintendent of schools.
Millay is a recently retired superintendent from Kentucky.
For about an hour and a half, the board discussed the two finalists, Millay and Dr. Peter Licata, a southern regional superintendent in Palm Beach County.
Board members said they were impressed by Millay's "fresh ideas" and described him as a "progressive" with "a lot of energy" who would bring positive change to the community.
Contract negotiations will now begin with Millay, which will go before the board for final approval.
Board members said they hope to have a contract approved before the school board's meeting on Oct. 1.
"I want to thank the Martin County Board of Education for their trust, their faith and their belief in me to successfully lead the school district to the next level," Millay said in a written statement. "I want to reassure everyone that I take this responsibility extremely seriously, and I vow to humbly serve the students, staff and the families that you represent."
This is an all-new process for Martin County after voters in 2018 decided to allow the school board to pick the new superintendent, according to the district spokesperson Jennifer Deshazo.
Martin County voters decided in 2018 to allow the school board to pick the new superintendent.
"The board has worked very hard to make sure that the candidate that we bring to Martin County is someone that will help us move our school district forward and continue to educate all students for success and uphold the high standards of excellence that we've been endured for many, many years in our court," DeShazo said before Tuesday's meeting.
This search process began last year and started with 45 educators from across the U.S. and is now down to four.
Millay is scheduled to be sworn in on Nov. 17 and will replace the current superintendent, Laurie Gaylord, who is retiring after serving eight years.