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Diane Gullett, former Orange County schools official, gets top job in Marion

Diane Gullett participated in a virtual town hall on Friday. Image: Zoom
Diane Gullett participated in a virtual town hall on Friday. Image: Zoom

Former Orange County Public Schools area superintendent Diane Gullett has been named to the top job in Marion County.

The School Board was split 3 to 2 on the decision Tuesday morning, they came together to vote unanimously for Gullett.

In 2018, Marion County voted to switch from an elected superintendent to one appointed by the School Board.

Now the board has chosen Gullett for the job. Since leaving Orange County two years ago, she has been a deputy superintendent in Las Vegas.

Current superintendent Heidi Maier and the board have had a rough time of it, with public tirades, accusations back and forth, and a whistleblower complaint.

School Board member Beth McCall says she heard a lot of support for Gullett after a virtual town hall on Friday.

"Her strong, calm leadership is exactly what we need in Marion County," McCall said.

Gullett spoke with the School Board by phone after the vote.

"I know this is a big decision for the community in moving to, toward an appointed superintendent," she said, "and I don’t take that lightly. I look forward to getting to know everyone and accelerating all the work for the 43,000 students. Thank you, I’m truly honored."

She is expected to take over in November, when Maier leaves office, but will start working for the district in July.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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