By Superintendent Van Ayres

As the summer comes to a close, I am excited to begin the 2023-24 school year as Hillsborough County Public Schools’ interim superintendent. I am grateful to the school board for their confidence in my leadership and look forward to starting this journey with our students, parents, staff and the entire community.

As someone who was born and raised in Tampa, it is humbling to be leading the school district that has been a part of my life since kindergarten, when I walked through the doors as a student at Mort Elementary School, ultimately graduating from Jefferson High School and the University of Tampa.

My love of teaching was instilled in me from my parents, who were both longtime educators with Hillsborough County Public Schools. They are the reason I became a chemistry teacher at Blake High School in 1997 and eventually became an administrator.

I have always been inspired by a community that remains committed to the students we serve. We couldn’t do our work every day without the collaboration of our families and our community partners.

As I take on this new role, I want families and the public to know how important our district’s culture is to me. School culture matters because it provides an atmosphere where successes are recognized and celebrated, where students and staff feel emotionally and physically safe and where we build relationships on a foundation of trust, openness and respect.

Relationships are built one interaction at a time, and from day one, I am prepared to build that trust with our teachers, staff, students and the public.

We must all work together, and I know as parents your primary goal is to advocate for your child. I am here to stand with you, and I believe if we keep our students at the forefront of our decisions, we can make the 2023-24 school year the best one yet.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and I look forward to continuing our work together.

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