South Florida Sun Sentinel | By Scott Travis | July 26, 2021
Vickie Cartwright plans to take over as Broward schools superintendent Aug. 2 with an expected salary of $275,000.
Cartwright, 50, will replace Robert Runcie, 60, whose last day will be Aug. 10. Runcie, who is resigning after this arrest on a felony perjury charge, made $356,000. The School Board agreed last week to hire Cartwright until a permanent replacement is found.
Broward School Board Chairwoman Rosalind Osgood agreed to the terms of Cartwright’s contract in a brief negotiation Monday. The School Board is expected to formally approve the contract Wednesday.
Cartwright, a former superintendent in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who now lives in the Orlando area, would also receive a district car and up to $24,000 in moving expenses.
“I don’t want our interim superintendent coming and having to struggle to find a nice place to move her family to,” Osgood said. “I think what you asked for was very reasonable.”
Cartwright’s contract ends when a permanent superintendent is hired, which School Board members estimate could be six months to a year, or possibly longer.
She can also resign or be fired with or without cause. If she’s fired without cause, she’s entitled to 30 days’ notice.
“I’m very much looking forward to getting started so that we can get to work right away,” Cartwright told Osgood.
In an interview after the negotiations, Cartwright said her top priority will be getting schools ready for a full reopening after a year in which many learned remotely due to the pandemic. That includes making sure the district has adequate staffing, she said.
Another focus will be building relationships with School Board members and understanding their priorities, she said.
he School Board initially voted 5-4 to hire Cartwright, with some preferring another candidate, although they took a revote to make their support unanimous.
Cartwright said she anticipates several challenges in her early days, including a pending report from a statewide grand jury, which has already indicted three administrators on felony charges.
“What are the contents of the report? How are we going to ensure we review that and really start looking at developing a plan on how to address the things in that report if we aren’t already, and make sure we’re communicating widely and transparently?” she said.
She said the district needs to be prepared for the upcoming trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, which is tentatively scheduled to start in September.
“That has the potential of really traumatizing people,” she said. “We really need to be aware of that and make sure we’re proactive in putting some supports in place prior to the trial actually beginning.”