Tampa, Fl. (November 2, 2023) — In a unanimous vote, the school board appointed Van Ayres as Hillsborough County Public Schools superintendent. Ayres’ contract is for a four-year period, providing stability and clarity for the district’s leadership into the future. Ayres’ priorities for the school district include early childhood and literacy, graduation rates, strong organizational culture and fiscal and operational responsibility.

Since taking over the helm as interim superintendent just four months ago, Ayres has focused on creating a supportive organizational culture. He also oversaw the successful opening of the 2023-24 school year with great enthusiasm and excitement from staff, students, parents and community partners.

In addition, Ayres championed efforts to negotiate salary increases and employee contracts much sooner than in years past for teachers, education support professionals, administrators and all support staff in the areas of transportation, school security, student nutrition, maintenance and custodial services. 

He coordinated the opening of 10 schools as storm shelters with Hillsborough County Emergency Management officials to help community members evacuate from the potential impact of Hurricane Idalia.

Upon his appointment as interim superintendent, Ayres selected the most culturally diverse executive team in district history — individuals who have a track record for student success, launching accelerated programs and bringing innovative ideas to the district. 

Ayres also guided new district partnerships that focus on school bus safety, the health and well-being of students and keeping kids protected in our communities.

“I am honored to be named superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools. I look back fondly on my days in West Tampa as a Little League baseball player; up through my time at Jefferson High School, both as a student and the principal; and now as the leader of this great school district. This has been my second home for my entire life, and I thank the school board for putting their trust in my leadership. Today’s appointment is not just about me; it is about the 24,000 employees in this district who come to work every day with one goal in mind — to give our students every educational opportunity to succeed in school and ultimately in life,” said Ayres.

Superintendent Van Ayres’ Background

Ayres was born and raised in Tampa. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1992. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Tampa, he began teaching science at Blake High School in 1997.

In 2003, Ayres was selected to become assistant principal for student affairs and later assistant principal of curriculum at Blake High School.

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