Miami Herald | by Colleen Wright | February 23, 2021
As the dust settles from Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ reorganization of top staff, another top cabinet member is leaving the school district.
Jose Dotres, the district’s Chief Human Capital Officer, has been tapped as the deputy superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. The move takes Dotres from the largest school district in the state and fourth-largest in the country to Florida’s 16th largest school district.
Collier County Public Schools has a total student population of 46,329, a fraction of Miami-Dade’s enrollment of 334,937.
PALM SPRINGS NORTH PRINCIPAL, DOTRES’ WIFE, ALSO LEAVING
Dotres’ wife, Maribel Dotres, longtime principal of Palm Springs North Elementary in Hialeah, is also leaving to serve as Collier’s administrative director over teaching and learning, according to Collier County Public Schools spokesman Chad Oliver.
She has served as Palm Springs North’s principal for at least a decade. The school has almost consistently earned A grades from the state.
Oliver told the Miami Herald that Jose Dotres did not apply for the job; Collier County school superintendent Kamela Patton made a contingent offer to Dotres to gauge interest. He said salary information has not been finalized for either Dotres. Collier last had a deputy superintendent in 2017.
COLLIER SUPERINTENDENT HAD WORKED AT MIAMI-DADE SCHOOLS
Jose Dotres, 58, makes a salary of $191,538 with Miami-Dade Schools and Maribel Dotres, 51, makes $129,049. Jose Dotres is expected to begin working for Collier on April 1.
Patton used to work for Dotres in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She was a region director under Dotres while he was a region superintendent. Patton spent 25 years in Miami-Dade before she was hired as Collier’s superintendent in 2011.
Dotres has worked for Miami-Dade since 1988, though he spent the 2013-14 school year as Broward County Public Schools’ Chief Academic Officer. He returned to the district in 2014 to serve as Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s chief of staff.
Dotres has not submitted a resignation letter, said Miami-Dade school district spokeswoman Jackie Calzadilla. She did not say who would replace him.
“Mr. Dotres has been a trusted member of our school system,” Calzadilla wrote in an email. “However, as a result of the strong succession management plan we have in place covering all essential personnel, his resignation will not present a challenge in continuity of leadership in that division.”
Dotres did not respond to requests for comment.
In a statement, Miami-Dade School Board chair Perla Tabares Hantman called Dotres, “a well respected educator and administrator with a wealth of organization knowledge and experience.”
“At a personal level, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Mr. Dotres,” she said.
School Board vice chair Steve Gallon also gave this comment after publication.
“The departure of Mr. Dotres will leave a huge void in the District,” he said. “His decades of experience as a teacher, principal, Region Superintendent, and most recently Human Capital Officer has distinguished him as a highly regarded and beloved educational professional. Collier County is fortunate to receive an educational professional of his caliber. Their gain is truly our loss.”
CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER MOVES TO WORK ON STRATEGIC PLAN
With simultaneous retirements and departures, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools underwent a significant reorganization of top staff in January, though it was narrowly approved by the School Board in a 5-4 vote. Two cabinet members retired, two left for other jobs and one was laterally moved into a position that had been vacant for almost three years.
Former Chief Academic Officer Marie Izquierdo moved to Chief Strategy Officer, a position last occupied by Lisa Martinez in summer 2018. Izquierdo is now in charge of creating the district’s five-year plan, which expired at the turn of the year.
In her new post, Izquierdo keeps her salary of $181,896 despite having no employees under her, unlike in her role over academics. She remains in the district’s highest pay grade, even though Martinez, her predecessor, was paid one pay grade below. When the School Board approved the Chief Strategy Officer position as part of a reorganization in 2014, the job called for the highest pay grade.
Carvalho said Izquierdo’s past accomplishments with the district, such as her work on the $1.2 billion general obligation bond passed by voters in 2012, should not be overlooked. Izquierdo has worked for the district for almost 30 years.
But Izquierdo also signed off on K12, the company that created the online learning platform used by the district when school began, which was pulled after teachers and parents complained vociferously.
“We were victims of K12,” Carvalho said, defending Izquierdo.
Iraida Mendez-Cartaya, the district’s former associate superintendent over the office of intergovernmental affairs, recently left to serve as chief of staff to new Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rene Garcia.
Mendez-Cartaya told the Herald she left for personal reasons, one of them being to spend more time with her family. She took a $20,000 pay cut for the job, now making $161,130 compared to her school district salary of $180,813.
The school district also has two chiefs of staff on its payroll temporarily. A school district spokeswoman said a transition period is part of succession management and considered best practice.
Jaime Torrens, who has been eligible for retirement but kept working for the district on a temporary waiver during the coronavirus pandemic, will stay on though June 30 earning his $200,331 salary.
Former North Region superintendent Jose Bueno has already been promoted to replace Torres as Carvalho’s chief of staff, earning a salary of $163,564.
Photo: Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Human Capital Officer, Jose Dotres, is leaving the district to serve as deputy superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. His departure follows a significant reorganization in Miami-Dade. VIA TWITTER