As a tumultuous budget season ends, Isle of Wight County school superintendent Katrise Perera is seeking a new beginning as a school superintendent in St. Lucie County, Fla.
Perera announced her intentions to leave the division in an email to staff Friday morning and a press release Friday afternoon.
In the email to staff, Perera didn’t say why she wanted to leave, but in a press release, spokesperson Kenita Bowers said it was “in light of recent occurrences that have taken place within the County.”
She didn't specify what she was referring to, but she applied for the Florida job before May 1, well before the most recent controversy over comments in a Board of Supervisors meeting.
Bowers added that it was in Perera's family's best interest.
School Board member Kent Hildebrand said Perera told the Board she planned to leave about one month ago.
Hildebrand said he understands her reasons for leaving, which he said were “personal,” but wasn’t surprised at her pending departure.
“Not with the reasons that she gave me,” he said.
Perera is among six finalists for the superintendent position for St. Lucie, which begins July 1.
St. Lucie started its search for a new superintendent this spring after its current superintendent, Mike Lannon, announced he would retire June 30.
The job opening closed May 1, in-person interviews are scheduled for June 3, 4 and 5, St. Lucie School Board plans to select its superintendent by June 10, according to the school district’s website.
St. Lucie County is located along Florida’s Atlantic coast and includes the city of Port St. Lucie as well as Fort Pierce.
St. Lucie has 43 schools, including one virtual school, five magnet schools and four charter schools and educates about 40,000 students, according to a 2011 county report.
Isle of Wight County schools have nine schools, one alternative school and 5,700 students.
Perera started with the division 22 months ago in July 2011 and at that time earned $130,000 a year.
She now makes $136,500 plus a $20,000 annuity paid out in installments over four years.
Last June, the School Board approved a new four-year contract while she was in the midst of a two-year contract.
According to her contract, if she decides to leave, Perera must provide 30 days written notice....(Subscribe!)