VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Doctor Carmen Balgobin has officially begun her stint as the next head of the Volusia County school district.
Balgobin previously served as the district’s Deputy Superintendent before leaving to take a similar position in South Florida.
Her appointment comes after months of controversy involving former Superintendent Doctor Scott Fritz.
Earlier this year, community leaders, teachers, and parents were divided about whether Doctor Fritz should stay.
Fritz’ supporters pointed to improved graduation and enrollment numbers as a sign of his success.
However, some parents and union leaders felt a lack of trust, and his decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic were reasons for him to leave.
Back in March, Dr. Fritz told the school board he did not want to extend his contract, which ended on December 1. Weeks later, the board voted to abruptly terminate the contract.
Since her return, Dr. Balgobin has said her main priority will be addressing the academic gap some students experienced during the pandemic.
Balgobin was Fritz’ Deputy Superintendent for more than two years. She also served as School Board Chair and filled in as Superintendent while Fritz was on sick leave. She even helped craft the district’s plans for reopening following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Balgobin says she wants to identify and work with those students impacted by the COVID disruption.
She says the district is already setting aside time during the day to focus on the children. She says she also plans to go after grants and work with neighboring school districts to address the problem.
“We have students that need to be accelerated,” Balgobin said. “Not just the students that need to be remediated , but also the students need to be accelerated, making sure in our schedule that there are opportunities for that.”
As they prepare for the next school year, which will begin on August 15, Balgobin says she also wants to focus on transparency and communication within the district and creating an environment where students and faculty members feel safe.
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