Gent selected as new leader of West Palm Beach school district

February 25, 2012 by  

At their meeting on the evening of February 15, the Palm Beach County School Board voted to make Superintendent Earl Wayne Gent, who has been serving in that position in an interim capacity, the permanent superintendent of the county, which includes the city of West Palm Beach . The School Board has been using printing services to print flyers and posters regarding this announcement to inform the public of their decision.

Supporters of this appointment have claimed that Gent is the ideal candidate who has been serving in the position of superintendent since Bill Malone left in November after serving for 10 months while opponents have claimed that the regular process for selecting a superintendent had been undermined. Chairman of the School Board, Frank Barbieri, has said that the process was only amended as Gent was interviewed last night with the other candidates who were interviewed last week.

Although Board members Karen Brill and Jenny Prior Brown joined in the unanimous vote for Gent, they expressed some objections to the change in the regular process for selecting a superintendent, with Brill not participating in the final interview of Gent. Brill went on to say that she was discouraged that other board members did not find moral or ethical concerns in the search process so that Gent could be considered. Many teachers and parents went so far to say that the Board was going back on its word by considering Gent at all.

Gent, for his part, claims that the process was still entirely democratic as he originally agreed not to be a part of the superintendent selection process and that it was the Board’s decision to offer him the permanent job.