LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Lee County School Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Nancy Graham as the new superintendent, when Dr. Joseph Burke retires on June 19th.
Graham, a Collier County principal and former finalist during the 2011 Lee County Superintendent search, worked for the Lee County School District for nearly 20 years and was principal of Cypress Lake High School.
"My goal has always been to make school good for children, and if the superintendent's role is where I need to be to do that, then that's why I'm here," Graham said.
The school board voted unanimously to appoint Graham as the district's leader after a four-hour discussion, but some members still want to see a national superintendent search, so they'll give Graham a one-year contract while they do that search. But they could come back to Graham in the end anyway. Board chair Mary Fischer says, "if that's what it takes (national search) to keep us together and make that agreement, I think we'll move into this tenure of Dr. Graham's and see how it goes. In my mind's eye yes, she has a good shot at it."
"I'm a day at a time believer, so I'm gonna take this a day at a time and work very hard, and trust as the district moves forward under my leadership, there will be a desire to see me continue to lead," Graham said.
Board member Jeanne Dozier says, "I think right now we are in a position that we're going to have some clam, some healing, people can move forward with their lives."
While the discussion lasted nearly four hours, board members were pleased with their ability to come together and compromise.
The board will allow Graham to pick her own leadership team and executive directors. That means re-appointments for leadership positions will be on hold for now. The board also still needs to negotiate her contract. Her first day will be June 20.