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At least four Florida school boards have removed their superintendents in the last month

Dr. Kamela Patton
Posted at 5:04 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 19:12:18-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — In a surprise vote on Tuesday night, the Collier County Public School Board voted to remove Dr. Kamela Patton as the district's superintendent. She's at least the fourth Florida superintendent removed in the last month.

School board meetings continue to be political fighting grounds in Florida. The Collier County board is led by the newly-elected conservative majority.

"I find this to be disrespectful in the highest level," said Sharon Harris-Ewing, a Collier County resident.

Reactions of Patton's removal were mixed. She had planned to retire at the end of the school year.

"You could have chosen to work with her, otherwise I do not understand," one resident said. "It does not speak well to your commitment of the best interest of the students of this district."

"I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your cooperation," said Tim Carpenter, another resident. "I'm proud of what's happening. And the people of Collier County stand with you."

Dr. Patton released a video on Tuesday night, calling her 11 years as superintendent "the opportunity of a lifetime."

"It has been the highlight of my career to serve as your superintendent and add value to this wonderful community," she said.

The move comes as other newly conservative school boards remove their superintendents. On Tuesday night as well, a little more than a 100 miles north, tension between another school board and their superintendent came to a head.

As the Sarasota County School Board entered into a separation agreement with Dr. Brennan Asplen, he didn't hold back in what was likely his last meeting.

"I believe everyone in our district should hear about the political tactics impacting education, not only in our county but statewide," he said. "This is about politics people!"

In Brevard County, the newly-elected conservative school board also fired its superintendent last month. Over in Broward County, an outgoing conservative school board fired the superintendent a week before a liberal majority took over.

Back in Lee County, voters recently approved a referendum to elect, instead of appoint, their next superintendent.