ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools stated that Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins has announced her retirement after leading the district for the past 10 years.
Jenkins will open the 2022-23 school year and officially retire in December, according to the statement.
Jenkins was the first female superintendent in Orange County Public Schools. She started her teaching career at OCPS and has spent the past 30 years working for OCPS, the fourth-largest school district in Florida and the ninth-largest in the nation.
The district's release went on to say that the board was aware of her approaching retirement because she has been enrolled in Florida's Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP, since 2018.
The decision was made years ago, so, current events like COVID-19 had nothing to do with it, Jenkins said.
She does have one request of the district, though, on her way out. A scholarship:
“Because I want to have established a superintendent’s teacher scholarship. Don’t want it named after me, just want it called superintendent’s because whoever sits in this chair needs to keep pursuing that. I want us, I want this district, to be behind moving more young people from high school graduation into the teaching profession,” she stated.
This comes as there is some real concern that fewer young people are going into the teaching profession.