Former Hillsborough superintendent is not a candidate in Duval

Published on July 19, 2023 at 10:11 am

Former Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Addison Davis will not be a candidate for superintendent in Duval County. He has a new job at Strategos, a management consulting firm with offices in Tampa and Tallahassee.

When Davis announced in June that he would resign as Hillsborough County superintendent, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family in Northeast Florida. His new role allows him to work remotely.

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Davis began his career as a teacher in Duval County, the country’s 20th largest school district, then moved up the ranks to eventually become chief of schools. Later, he became superintendent of Clay County schools. Davis took the helm at Hillsborough County schools in March 2020, right at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jacksonville NAACP raised concerns last month that Davis seemed to have an inside track for the Duval job. NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin sent the school district a letter saying the superintendent search “appears to be a mere facade,” with a candidate decided in advance.

Rumlin pointed to Tampa Bay Times reporting that “Davis said he was not applying for the [Duval] job. But he did not discount the idea that someone might offer it to him.”

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Duval School Board Chair Kelly Coker rejected the characterization. She said no candidates had been identified and no interviews had taken place.

The district is searching for a replacement for Superintendent Diana Greene, who retired after five years with the district. Her last day of work was June 2, with her retirement effective July 24.

Davis was hired as an equity partner at Strategos and will work in a section of the firm called the Business Transactional Advisory practice.

“District partners are looking for a trusted third-party validator to ask questions about potential solutions and offerings that they’re considering implementing,” said Strategos Group Managing Partner Adam Giery, explaining Davis’s role.

“And Addison is going to serve as that advisor, advising private sector companies that are aspiring to be in this market about how do you build things that are best for kids? How do you really work on high value implementation?”

Giery said Davis is the first district superintendent Strategos has hired.

“As a management consultancy, with Addison’s arrival, we have captured what we believe is every single seat in the education ecosystem, from teacher to school administrator to legislator to state superintendent,” Giery said.

Davis declined to say exactly when negotiations for his new position began, but said he has been in contact with the firm for five years.

“I really fell in love with how they are intentional about how they help school districts find the right solutions and really create the best moments for school districts and ultimately for children,” Davis told WUSF.

“I’m going to work hard every single day to be able to help potential clients find the best solutions they can to be able to help children every single day. And, you know, that mission for me has never stopped.”

Davis’s salary will be a percentage of the firm’s revenue.

Copyright 2023 WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF 89.7.
Information from WJCT News was used in this report.

author image Kerry Sheridan is a reporter and co-host of All Things Considered at WUSF Public Media. Before joining WUSF, she covered international news, health, science, space and environmental issues for Agence France-Presse from 2005 to 2019, reporting from the Middle East bureau in Cyprus, followed by stints in Washington and Miami. Kerry earned her master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2002 and was a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship for Cultural Reporting. She got her start in radio news as a freelancer with WFUV in the Bronx in 2002. Since then, her stories have spanned a range of topics, including politics, baseball, rocket launches, art exhibits, coral reef restoration, life-saving medical research and more.

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