FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - After more than three hours of interviews, the Broward School Board voted Wednesday on two finalists for the coveted superintendent's job.
It will be a showdown between Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright and former Air Force Colonel Michael Gaal.
Cartwright received nine votes from the board while Gaal garnered seven
The third semifinalist, Quintin Shepherd, a superintendent of an independent school district outside Houston, Texas, did not make the cut.
Cartwright was the first to be interviewed by board members.
During questioning, she said as a child she experienced homelessness and disabilities which allows her a deep understanding of what students go through. She said teachers helped her cope through difficulties.
Cartwright, a lifelong educator, has been leading the district since former Superintendent Robert Runcie left after he was charged with perjury related to a criminal corruption case against a former employee.
When his turn came, Gaal told the panel the first thing he did after coming into town was visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a mass shooting four years ago, to understand safety.
While he has never taught K through 12, Gaal says he was a pilot instructor in the Air Force and he was a top school administrator position in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California
He promised to visit every school in the district and indicated he's given his cell phone number to teachers in the past so they can let him know firsthand when they have a concern.
The next step is one-on-one meetings with school board members next Tuesday.
That evening, the public can meet the candidates at Plantation High School.
The board will make a final decision on February 9th
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