FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Students first every time. That is Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright's guiding principle.
Dr. Cartwright spoke with CBS4 one month after she was officially selected to be the district's permanent superintendent.
"To my community at large, I am very grateful for the level so support you continue to give to our students as well as our staff. I've really been working hard getting out there into the community," she said.
She and her team have their boots on the ground, as she likes to call it, going out into the community to get the job done. A job she's been doing since July of last year when she was picked to be interim superintendent. Now as the permanent superintendent, there is more she can do.
"As a permanent at this point in time, I am now able to go out and recruit some top talent to bring into the organization, as well tap on the shoulder some top talent that's already here in Broward County and ask them 'I want you to think about applying for this job'," said Dr. Cartwright.
There are two key positions to fill, she said, that are at the top of her list.
"Fill in the vacancies for the two deputy positions because we have a reorganization that we are going to be doing for the district, bringing back a plan to the (school) board in May in order to look at how we re-organize our district level positions," said Dr. Cartwright.
She also mentioned the COVID slide among students and staffing shortages are something they are working on, she also has concerns about the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill.
"I'm concerned because what happens now for the children who want to say hey I identify this way and I'm now identifying as a part of the LGBTQ+ population, how am I going to be treated at school," said Dr. Cartwright.
But above all, she said, students and their safety are the top priority. She said at times it's been challenging.
"Being able to come in here and really start implementing some out-of-the-box ideas in order to help move the organization forward. For example, start the school year back in person and maintain that the entire year despite the delta variant, despite the omicron variant, where it was very hard," said Dr. Cartwright.
She also mentioned a proposed referendum she will be presenting to the board to raise funding to retain teachers and operate schools.
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