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Betty Seabrook Burney Chairman, Duval County School Board 1701 Prudential Drive Jacksonville, Florida 32207 Dear Madam Chair and Board Members: I respectfully submit my application for the position of Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools. Having invested nine years as a senior member of the Superintendent's cabinet, I am excited about the leadership opportunity and the challenges of leading a large urban school district. My understanding of the mission, the communities we serve, along with a strong performance record make me a competitive candidate for this position. During my nine years, I have worked closely with the Board and district staff. For example, in 2008 lied the process to develop the first approved District Strategic Plan that changed the way the District plans and executes strategic and annual initiatives. In addition to my current duties, I have supervised every support department in the District including Budget, Human Resources and Information Technology as well as the School Choice Office. As Chief Operating Officer, I served with three different superintendents which has given me a unique opportunity to understand the critical challenges of the district and to develop my own vision for the future. I have 35 years leading organizations that has prepared me well for this important leadership role. Over half of my leadership experience includes organizations of between 500 and 1200 employees including civil service, administrative, licensed professionals and contractors. In each position, I have worked with a highly diverse workforce and understand first-hand the value of diversity in teamwork. While serving as a commanding officer, I was responsible for regional program leadership of 1,100 employees and a $300M budget to support nine naval stations in Jacksonville, Key West, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Moreover, I delivered over $100M in customer service to Mayport Naval Station and Jacksonville Naval Air Station. My understanding of applying level of service standards and best business practices for a large organization over a large geographical area was my basis for leading the Operations division to serve Duval County schools. As an Annapolis graduate and as a career naval officer, I was privileged to serve with tremendous leaders which contributes to my viability as a candidate for this position. I learned early in my career that achieving excellence is a choice. Leadership requires vision to overcome obstacles through insight, persistence and charisma. And, while knowledge and style are important, leading is about communicating and inspiring your team to accept ownership and accountability which together enable us to achieve our collective best. I would consider my record and ability as an effective leader in the district to be a strength and an asset. I see two critical areas that require action to achieve greater success. We need to review responsibility, authority and accountability in the context of constructive dialogue about outcomes and data driven performance. Second, the role of district administration needs more role clarity to better provide resources, technical guidance, professional development opportunity and management oversight as pillars of school support.
Looking forward to the opportunities, we should honor and reinforce the student-teacher relationship and nurture a culture led by highly effective principals well qualified to set a new standard of school performance. When I served as Executive Assistant to the Admiral who was responsible for all worldwide shore support services in the Navy, I saw on a global scale the value of assigning the right leader (principal), staffing the mission (school staff), providing high quality training (professional development), setting clear objectives (student achievement targets) and supporting those in the field (teachers in the classroom). I believe the key to moving forward quickly is to reinforce the fundamentals of staffing, training, resourcing and executing a plan. While technology and innovation are inherent considerations in most every issue, nothing replaces the trust and inspired teamwork that delivers results every time and breeds success. I believe I offer that kind of leadership. We have some big challenges in front of us. We have many high need students, and at the same time, we must find new ways to maintain interest and focus for our brightest students. We have severe state budget cuts, class size compliance issues, and increased oversight and program compliance requirements at both the state and federal levels. But with creative, focused leadership centered on what is needed for classroom success, and working with teachers, principals, stakeholders and union leadership, we can find opportunities for every child to succeed. A key incentive is to find ways to offer more flexibility to our principals and teachers who demonstrate high performance in the classroom. My vision for Duval County Public Schools is to develop a "Best of Type" attitude in each employee by creating a rewarding and stimulating work environment. It is important to share our message with the community with "One Voice" and to align our thoughts and actions to present a more competitive and cohesive academic stance in the community. I have seen how quality school support contributes to readiness in the classroom as a key part of greater learning and morale. But, we need a comprehensive approach to building more high performing schools which includes district administration working in complete harmony with school objectives. I am confident in our employees and optimistic about our future. My reason for applying is to be the best; to be the leader of the best; and to create the best school district in the State. I would be honored to be considered for the position of Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. Thank you. Respectfully,
Arthur D. Ayars, Jr., P.E. Chief Operating Officer Attachments: • • • • • • Signed application form Resume Letter of recommendation-Ms. Brenda Priestly-Jackson, former DCPS School Board Chair Duke University- Executive Education Certificate Transcripts- Georgia Tech/US Naval Academy Professional Engineer Florida License No. 61314
Duval County Public Schools
Application Information Form
Telephone Office: Home: Cell: E-mail:
Arthur Douglas Ayars, Jr. (Doug) 160 Plantation Circle South Ponte Vedra Beach Florida
(904) 3902007 (904) 280 1657 (904) 881 9095 email@example.com
Record of Professional Education (in reverse chronology) Institution Duke University Fuqua School of Business Durham, North Carolina Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia United States Naval Academy, Annapolis Maryland Graduation Date 1999 Major Executive Management Construction Management Systems Engineering Degree Certificate of Completion MS BS
Record of Professional Experience (in reverse chronology) Title Chief Operating Officer, Associate Superintendent Associate Vice President, Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan, Jacksonville Captain, Civil Engineer Corps,U.S. Navy, retired Dates 2005 2003 2001 to to to Present 2005 2003 District Duval County Duval County Private Sector Architecture/Engi neering Firm State Florida Florida Florida Enrollment 123,000 123,000 N/A
Florida 9 years
Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville,
Closing date July 23,2012
The School Board has identified the following qualities for the superintendent of schools. Please respond to each of the qualities stressing your experience, strengths, and abilities in each area, limiting your responses to between 200 and 300 words for each item. 1. A leader who solicits, respects and values the input of stakeholders at all levels of the organization and who has demonstrated leadership in utilizing that input to create and sustain a culture of shared decision-making. Response: The key to effective communication is information flowing vertically and laterally throughout the organization with feedback being a critical part of understanding. As a leader, my approach is to ask and listen such that every decision is "shared" with my staff. The Superintendent relies on his cabinet as an advisory group in the shared decision making process. The idea is the same when working issues across the district where school principal, teacher and stakeholder input are important. Shared decision making leads to sustainable progress based on decisions that all stakeholders can honor. A proactive culture of trust and high morale occurs when an organization embraces this principle and replicates it again and again. "Shared" also means that the best decisions are bilateral. Working with union leadership, "shared" also implies that both parties are sincere in their effort to understand and are open to compromise to reach consensus. In my career, I have negotiated agreements with union leadership and also participated in extension partnering sessions with private firms to reach agreement regarding contracts. Public meetings could be considered "shared" when we solicit input and use it to develop options leading to a decision. I have run over 40 Academic and Community Excellence (ACE) meetings as a form of shared decision making we use to connect with community stakeholders. And even when consensus is not possible, the effect of candid dialogue between parties can earn mutual respect that helps keep the communication lines open. The key is everyone having a voice, maintaining transparency where appropriate and always keeping a high standard of professional and personal integrity.
2. A leader who supports and empowers principals, teachers and staff to improve organizational and student performance outcomes. Response: To improve outcomes for any team, a leader has to do three things particularly well. First is set a clear vision with objectives that inspire the team to stretch and achieve. Second is create a relevant plan that is developed by those who do the front line work. The school improvement plan needs to be meaningful to gain support from teachers, the SAC and the PTA. Third, the Superintendent needs to instill in district administrative staff, the urgency and importance of finding ways to remove the system obstacles that hinder school progress. The key to personal empowerment is having everyone understand and accept responsibility, authority and accountability. Individuals are responsible for their performance, but to be empowered, must have the authority to act. It's important to delegate authority which frees up the individual to practice self initiative in the context of having the autonomy to act. Delegation also shows trust and is a key training experience for employees as a catalyst for acting and learning to be accountable for results. Making these relationships clear in team settings will prevent unintended negative consequences such as misunderstanding who has the lead for action. The foundation for building a culture of success where employees become leaders
Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL Closing date July 23,2012
begins with personal ownership through empowerment. This is the essence of what makes succession planning a reality in growing a stronger cadre of leaders. District support is an enabler of success but not a substitute for high performing school based leadership.
3. A proactive visionary, able to consider, plan and implement systemic change that increase the district's ability to recognize and respond to current and future challenges as they arise. Response: Planning is at the heart of being a great leader. Aligning the organization to prepare and meet challenges is a trait found in great performing teams. In Operations, we have developed a solid group of planning teams for contracts, school opening preparation, and project management which includes expanding the roll of minority businesses in our district. I developed the "Flawless Opening" process and wrote the ACE policy which improved our internal planning for school opening and enhanced the community planning process respectively. These are recurring planning forums where future opportunities and challenges are identified. The Superintendent's cabinet is where senior leadership considers the big picture of the district. To that end, I have revised the agenda and structure of cabinet. I added a two week look at the Superintendent's calendar which results in staff preparing for and pre-briefing various topics. I added a two month look ahead at Board workshops to align topics based on priorities to meet required deadlines. I also added a running Governance list which allows the group to be aware of those areas the Superintendent will need to discuss with the Board that require staff action. These changes have made for more focused, efficient management of issues with district staff and the school board. I also created an Executive Steering Group that includes all Executive Directors and other key staff to meet regularly to discuss key initiatives in the district and monitor the strategic plan. Overall, the district "Front Office" concept extends throughout the building and is tied together by content and not by floor space. This continuum exists as the way of work.
4. Someone with strong organizational and leadership skills, able to collaboratively align and focus internal and external stakeholders' efforts to accelerate progress on achieving the district's goals for student and organizational performance. Response: Organizational strength is often thought of in terms of talent of the team. But the force multiplier for effective, high tempo operations and moving forward quicker is communication and teamwork. I have led teams with average talent that excelled to meet very high standards. To "accelerate" performance, we have to change current processes, invest in more effective professional development to leverage the return in the classroom, or and strike the right balance of resource distribution. Given the funding situation, we need to be smarter and more streamlined in our planning to achieve the highest return on investment. I think we should refocus on the fundamentals of what schools need under the leadership of inspired principals. This is a strategy of reinforcing those in charge, steadying the organization by not adding unnecessary change and keeping a single purposed approach to meeting our academic targets. This will require asking the principals what they need, changing the way we support the schools and finding a way to release the creativity of the teachers to the benefit of kids. Union leadership will be a partner in getting the right teachers in the right schools. As Superintendent, , will include the union president in our planning effort in the spirit of
Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL Closing date July 23, 2012
shared decision making. The Superintendent has to set the tone of urgency for the community, the Mayor, our business leaders and all stakeholders by affirming the plan is in place and we are moving quickly to meet our goals.
5. A person of integrity who is trustworthy and whose relationships, with the board and across the district, are predicated on honest and open communications. Response: The Superintendent is the district standard as an honorable and ethical leader. Any indiscretion, real or perceived, will undermine the credibility of the district and hurt morale and seriously damage our community image. Living with honor and carrying that close to your heart is a way of life. I have done so as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy and then as a commissioned officer. I took an oath promising to abide by the highest ideals and traditions of the Naval Service. My performance evaluations included assessment of my honesty, fortitude, integrity and leadership, as the cornerstones for future assignment and promotion. As a registered professional engineer, I carry an obligation to protect the public safety at all times. As Chief Operating Officer, and a senior official in the district, I have accepted our vision, mission, core beliefs and commitments, as the basis for leading others. Being accountable at all times requires a constant awareness of who you are, but more importantly what and who you represent. Very similarly, we have an ethical commitment to the public that what we are doing is in the best interest of our students and that their welfare remains top priority above any other consideration. The Superintendent sets the standard every day for personal integrity that reflects the values expected of all employees in the district. The Superintendent and Board share that distinction, but the Superintendent is singularly visible and accountable as the district leader.
Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville,
Closing date July 23, 2012
Do you have a Superintendent Endorsement for the state represented by the position listed on this Application Information Form? Note: According to the
Office of the Florida Association for District School Superintendents, the only requirements are to be 18 years of age of older and a registered voted in the State of Florida.
(If you have questions regarding the requirements to be a superintendent State of Florida, contact the Florida Department of Education)
I certify that the information
provided herein is true and complete to the best of my knowledge.
I am aware that the Florida Sunshine Act will require that all applicant information is public and can be released to the media upon request.
Applicant hereby waives his/her right to confidentiality with regard to his/her work record or criminal record and consents to and authorizes the release of information from current or former employers and/or law enforcement personnel upon inquiry under this application.
Signature of Applicant: Printed name of Applicant: Arthur Douglas Ayars, Jr.
_ Date: 22 July 2013
This application must be COMPLETED and RETURNED by:
MONDAY, JULY 23,2012
Duval County Public Schools McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. Executive Recruitment and Development 7905 L St., Suite 310 Omaha, Nebraska 68127 Phone: (402) 991-7031/(888) 375-4814 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (402) 991-7168
Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville,
Closing date July 23,2012
Arthur D. Ayars, Jr.
160 Plantation Circle South Ponte Vedra Beach, FI 32082 9048819095 email@example.com
Apply leadership experience to continue to make a significant difference as Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools. Thirty five years experience leading organizations up to 1200 employees and annual budgets of $400M. A proven senior business leader with demonstrated expertise in customer service, operations, strategic planning and fiscal management. Exceptional communication skills with demonstrated success in: Senior Executive Management Strategic Planning Fiscal Planning and Program Management Educational Facilities Management Construction Management Acquisition and Procurement
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Chief Operating Officer, Duval County Public Schools, FL, 2003· Present • Deliver support services for 183 schools and 125,000 students. • Supervise 700 in-house staff and 1,000 contract employees to deliver $400M per year in comprehensive facilities and logistics support services for 17M square feet of facilities. • Oversee $300M in annual contract support including facilities maintenance, custodial, energy, environmental, transportation, construction, purchasing, security, warehousing, food service, health benefits and planning. • Created a centralized acquisition council for contracting cadre member training and best practice implementation to enhance service and reduce costs. • Implemented a customer satisfaction feedback system to assess and improve level of service. • Instituted a work reception and production management system to manage facilities backlog and accelerate contract execution. • Consolidated responsibilities between departments to form an integrated project management team to plan and execute work for the school based customer. • Led development of the first approved District Strategic Plan in 2008 that implements performancebased management of six strategic goals and executes a $1.8B annual budget. • Participated in Board Member BROAD training sessions. Wrote 5 policies approved and adopted by the Board including: Data Dashboard, Constituent Service, Operational Accountability, Strategic Planning and Academic and Community Excellence (ACE) Process. Associate Vice President, Post Buckley, Schuh, and Jernigan, Jacksonville, FL, 2001·2003 • Senior Jacksonville office manager for business development and all customer service including civil engineering, transportation, and environmental design contracts. Director, Navy Public Works, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, DC, 2000·2001 • Chair of the committee providing guidance and business planning for the Navy's global $2B Navy Public Works program.
Commanding Officer, Navy Public Works Center, Jacksonville, FL, 1998·2000 • Led team of 500 civil service employees to provide service for 60 shore and afloat customers located at Fleet Concentration Areas in Jacksonville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina. • Awarded a consolidated ten year $500M regional contract included web-based customer ordering and paperless acquisition initiatives to serve Jacksonville Area and Kings Bay regional customers. Successfully partnered with the Small Business Administration, industry trade associations, and union leadership to gain their endorsement. • Finalized agreement that transferred the existing potable water system to Jacksonville Electric Authority to reduce production costs by 25 percent. • Awarded a third-party contract to Tampa Electric Corporation to finance a $12M project to replace and outsourced the base steam system operation saving $1 M/yr. Regional Engineer, Navy Region Southeast, 1998·2000 • Created the first regional business council to strategically manage shore facilities programs including 1,100 employees and a $300 million annual budget. • Developed regional facilities and environmental annual business plans for programs at nine naval bases in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Jacksonville, Florida; Gulfport, Mississippi; Charleston, South Carolina and Kings Bay, Georgia. • Developed comprehensive facilities master plans for all seaports, airports, housing, recreation, and utilities systems with a plant value of $7B. • Demolished excess infrastructure and reduced energy consumption to save $5M per year. • Developed the preliminary plan for a public private venture concept to support NAS Jacksonville and NS Mayport family housing. Public Works Officer/Officer in Charqe-of-Ccnstructlon, United States Naval Academy, 1995·1998 • Public Works Officer reporting to the Superintendent, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Responsible for an annual facilities budget of $80 million and managing a $3B property account. • Briefed the $1 B renovation program to the Secretary of the Navy, Congressional staff and the Presidential appointed Board of Visitors including Sen. John McCain and Rep. Steny Hoyer. • Superintendent appointed Member of Naval Academy Athletic Association Board of Control Instructor Experience • U.S. Naval Academy, 1996·1998. Taught sophomore year Ethics and Leadership to midshipmen. Full responsibility for lesson plans, testing and assigning final grades. Worked closely with tenured professors and faculty on course content. Civil Engineer Corps Officer School, Port Hueneme, California 1988·1990. Instructed officers and enlisted personnel on leadership and construction management. Education • Executive Management Program, Duke University 1999 • M.S. Construction Management, Georgia Tech 1986 • B.S. Systems Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy 1975 Active Registrations • Registered Professional Engineer, Civil, Florida, #61413 Affiliations & Memberships • USNA Alumni Association - Lifetime member • Navy League (Mayport Chapter) - member
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