WATCH LIVE: Broward picks new schools superintendent

Broward County’s school board is meeting Wednesday to select the next permanent superintendent for the sixth-largest public school district in the country.

The finalists are Vickie Cartwright, who has served as interim superintendent since the summer, and Michael Gaal, a retired Air Force colonel who has also worked in educational leadership.

One of them will replace Robert Runcie, who stepped down last spring after being charged with perjury.

Watch the school board’s special meeting live at the top of this page.

The finalists each gave a brief opening statement Wednesday morning before taking questions from school board members. A public comment section is to follow before the board members vote.

Cartwright and Gaal also fielded questions from parents Tuesday night at Plantation High School.

“This is a place where I want to be the face of the organization, in order to lead us and transition us and put us back into a student’s first,” Cartwright said.

Said Gaal: “I want to be crystal clear. I am an equity-driven leader. I seek to come to Broward County to be part of the solution of some long systemic problems.”

Each was also asked to describe their leadership style and strengths.

“I work with a great sense of urgency, and I have a very direct style,” Gaal said.

Said Cartwright: “My leadership style, I take a collaborative approach involving others as we have conversations in order to problem-solve together.”

Last week, the school board narrowed its list of candidates to two finalists.

All nine board members voted to advance Cartwright, who before taking the interim job in July was superintendent in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and spent 17 years working for Orange County Public Schools in the Orlando area. The interim superintendent was initially not supposed to be eligible for the full-time role, but Cartwright has gained the support of board members and Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco.

Seven of the nine board members voted to advance Gaal, who beyond his flight instruction experience has served as deputy chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, chief of staff for the Oakland Unified School District and in leadership positions for the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan.

#BREAKING: @browardschools VOTES to advance @suptvcartwright (Vickie Cartwright, 9 votes) and @Gaal_DCPS (Michael Gaal, 7 votes) as top TWO finalists for #superintendent. Here is how each board member voted. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/thagOPvugC

— Hatzel Vela (@HatzelVelaWPLG) February 2, 2022

For more info on the search and to see full bios of the candidates, go to browardschools.com/supersearch.

Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney contributed to this report.

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