Polk County, Florida -- Today, the Polk County School Board named Kathryn LeRoy the new superintendent of schools.
Mrs. LeRoy was chosen after school officials say Board members narrowed the list to three final candidates.
The school district says other individuals considered for the position included Polk County Public Schools' Associate Superintendent of Learning David Lewis and Administrator on Assignment for the Lee County School District Dr. Constance Jones.
LeRoy replaces current Superintendent of Schools Dr. John A. Stewart, who has been in the role of interim superintendent since November. Dr. Stewart replaced former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sherrie B. Nickell who retired because of family health reasons.
Polk County Schools released the following statement about LeRoy's experience and hiring:
Mrs. LeRoy brings to the District more than 27 years of experience in education. She began her teaching career as a science instructor in the Miami-Dade School District. She later worked in Duval as chief of mathematics and science and then as academic officer.
This visionary leader comes to the District with extensive expertise in current educational reform practices, standards-based curriculum alignment and development, professional development, support of low performing students and schools, accountability, personnel and fiscal management.
She understands the challenges that lie ahead as districts across Florida face the similar challenges in accelerating student achievement, eliminating the achievement gap, building capacity of leadership and teachers and shifting to a belief system that supports and nurtures all children.
Mrs. LeRoy says, "Change and positive student results take time and continued persistent focus and effort, especially in these rapidly changing times of new Common Core Standards and assessments, increasing oversight and difficult financial constraints. I believe building a culture of trust and capacity across all levels of the district is essential to meet the ever changing dynamics of public education."
She hopes that as the new superintendent of schools her legacy will be increased student achievement through building teacher capacity and effective district and school leadership, ensuring financial efficiency and strengthening community and business partnerships.
While working for Duval County Public Schools, Mrs. LeRoy served as Chief Academic Officer and Chief Officer of Mathematics and Science. She's also served as Executive Director of Science for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and District Supervisor of Science for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Mrs. LeRoy holds a Master of Science in Animal Nutrition and Physiology from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Maryland. She also holds an Educational Leadership Certification from Florida Atlantic University.