Diana Greene, superintendent for the School District of Manatee County, was chosen as one of three finalists in Duval County's search for a new superintendent on Monday.
Along with Greene, the Duval County School Board chose Michael Dunsmore, superintendent for Wayne County Public Schools in North Carolina, and Erick Pruitt, area superintendent for the Houston Independent School District in Texas.
The seven-member board voted out two semifinalists, who each received four votes against them. Both Dunsmore and Pruitt received three votes against them, whereas Greene received none.
A focus group comprised of educators and parents interviewed Greene and the other semifinalists on Saturday. A sixth candidate dropped out before the interviews.
During the weekend interview, Greene expressed her trust in Manatee residents and district administrators.
"It is coming at a time where I feel Manatee is able to stand on its own, and that it is more than me," she said. "And now the community has embraced the school district, that they will take ownership of the school district."
Greene's career started in Duval, where she accepted a teaching position at Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary School. The experience left her with a sense of respect for teachers — some facing little resources or support — who dedicate their lives to educating students.
The new superintendent is expected to be announced at 4 p.m. on Friday. If selected, Greene will transition from a district comprised of about 60 schools and 50,000 students, to a district with approximately 200 schools and 128,000 students.
"Duval is my ability to come home — home to the beginning of my professional career, home to an opportunity to make every first-year teacher feel like they are not alone," Greene said during her weekend interview.