Published: Feb 15, 2011 4:46 AM EST
Updated: Feb 15, 2011 12:59 AM EST

NAPLES, Fla. - The Collier County School District is looking for a new Superintendent. And Monday night, people in the community got the chance to voice their opinions on what type of person they want to see leading them into the future, and what mistakes they don't want to see repeated.

It's one of the biggest decisions a district can make. While only a dozen showed up at the input meeting at Barron Collier High School, they had plenty to say about the district's strengths.

"We have a lot of people willing to educate these children that are making sacrifices," a teacher said.
They also highlighted the district's challenges, one woman saying, "Cuts in the budget, deciding where the priorities need to be."

They said they want openness, experience, and above all, something different. They're not looking for a business person, but a teacher; someone who sees the community as a partner in decision-making. A common desire was for every school to be treated equally, but not as if they are the same.
Raising a few eyebrows is the salary suggested by the search firm: $260,000. It's a number much higher than the $165,000 - 195,000 Lee County School District is willing to pay its next leader, despite having half as many students as Lee.
"He or she deserves to make a good living, cause it's a big job," parent and substitute teacher Linda Tortu said, "but not so high that they are taking away from our children and our teachers."

"It will be discussed fully at tomorrow's school board meeting and a decision will be made for a range," School Board Member Kathy Curatolo said.

If you weren't able to make it out to Monday night's meetings, there are two more Tuesday from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
-Immokalee High School (701 Immokalee Drive, Immokalee)
-Tommie Barfield Elementary School (101 Kirkwood Street, Marco Island)

There's also has option of sharing your opinion anonymously at
The survey will be available until noon Wednesday.