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    Public school chancellor candidates still sought

    ©Associated Press
    September 26, 2002

    TALLAHASSEE -- With just two candidates remaining for the new post of chancellor of public schools, the Florida Board of Education is seeking to enlarge the field before making its choice.

    The board's search committee canceled interviews scheduled with the two finalists in Orlando Tuesday and asked Korn/Ferry International, the consulting firm identifying candidates, to find one or two more.

    Bill Edmonds, the board's spokesman, said the board still hopes to complete the selection process in time to make the appointment at its Oct. 24 meeting.

    The consulting firm initially came up with three names, but one person withdrew, leaving Carmen Varela-Russo, the chief executive officer of the Baltimore school system, and Clifford B. Janey, former superintendent of Rochester, N.Y., schools.

    Janey was involved in a dispute in Rochester, where his contract was bought out last month after a conflict over fiscal management. Edmonds said that did not play a part in the decision to seek additional candidates.

    Edmonds said a change in the political makeup of the school board and the troubled economy contributed to the problems in Rochester. "He is very highly recommended," Edmonds said.

    He added, however, that the board will look into the circumstances of Janey's departure to allay any concerns. "We want to find out what that's all about," Edmonds said.

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