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Sarasota County school board appoints interim superintendent

Dr. Allison Foster will serve as the county's school superintendent as the board begins a nationwide search.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — The Sarasota County school board announced its interim superintendent. This comes after the last permanent superintendent left the role with some controversy; some parents accused the board of being politically motivated. 

But now, the board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Allison Foster as interim superintendent. Foster was up against Dr. Ron Dipillo for the role. 

Board member Thomas Edwards motioned for Dipillo to be appointed to the role, but it was not seconded and died.

Bridget Ziegler, the board chair, then motioned for Foster to be voted in as interim superintendent, which passed unanimously. 

Edwards explained he will support the board in taking a unified stance and voted for Foster, despite his original motion for Dipillo.

Before board members voted, each candidate had the chance to share why they wanted to be interim superintendent and what their goals were for the job. Foster shared how important children's learning was to her as her main motivation for pursuing the role. 

"Student achievement is a passion of mine," Foster said. "I love working with students. It is a passion of mine to push our students to be the best they can be."

Foster said she's interested in serving in the role of superintendent permanently. The interim superintendent has a max salary of $225,000. 

That salary will be discussed at the next board meeting on Tuesday, February 21.

Malique Rankin is a general assignment reporter with 10 Tampa Bay. You can email her story ideas at mrankin@10tampabay.com and follow her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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