The School District of Osceola County selected Dr. Mark Shanoff as its next Superintendent during its Tuesday June 13 board meeting.

Dr. Shanoff is the current Chief Interim Information Officer with Orange County Public Schools, with prior experience as the Chief Operating Officer with the Volusia County School District and principal at a number of Orange County schools, including Edgewater High School, Ocoee Middle School, and Dillard Street Elementary School.

I am excited to work with our forward-thinking Board, and alongside the outstanding professionals in the School District of Osceola County, to create opportunities for all students. The formal educational experience for our children is a mere short segment of their lives and we have a duty and an obligation to ensure it’s high quality, meaningful and positive.

Dr. Mark Shanoff

Incoming Superintendent, School District of Osceola County

Shanoff received his teaching certification at Harvard University, his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Rollins College, his Master of Science in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida, and his Doctorate in Education at the University of Central Florida.

Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace, announced in December that she would be retiring as superintendent, which will take place later this month. Dr. Shanoff was selected out of 32 applicants, including the three other finalists, Dr. Michael Allen, Mr. Terrence Connor and Dr. Ann Hembrook.

The school board will now begin the contract negotiation process with the expectation of voting on that contract during the June 27 board meeting.

Dr. Shanoff provided his 100-day plan to the district during the hiring process, which was sent out by the school district shortly after the vote was made official Tuesday evening:


Dear School Board Members of Osceola County, 

I am very excited to be your new Superintendent. The partnership we share is vital to the organization’s success and I look forward to working side-by-side with each of you to ensure the best outcomes for our students and to continue to be the center of what makes Osceola County a desirable place to live and work. 

Our collaboration over the next several months will generate enthusiasm in our community, confidence among our team members, and ultimately lead to the best outcomes we have ever had. You have my word that my heart, my head, and my belief are all in for Osceola County Schools. 

The talent is here. My entire career has been about doing the work from within. It’s a critical value driver for me. The district leadership, the district staff, the school-based leadership and the school­based staff are dedicated professionals that deserve trust. I’m not in the business of changing people. I will have to work to earn their respect and their trust. Positional authority exists only on paper until you earn it from those you lead. I’m in this to enhance what we are doing to accelerate the work. 

The SDOC Strategic Plan has five goals that must work interdependently for collective success. I’m excited that my experience allows us to work as a team finding alignment; as I have worked as a business chief connecting our non-teaching and learning work to the academic achievement goals. 

For my teams and me, it’s always been about the students; as a teacher, as an assistant principal, as a principal. But it was also the focus during my time as a COO in Volusia. We made sure everything we did, every project we endeavored, we re-focused around how this would impact the student experience. The same holds true in my current role as CIO. As a father, I know firsthand that developing strong relationships between our students and staff is a crucial component of our work. It is about our kids and ensuring they are successful. Developing strong relationships is a critical component to student success and teacher/staff morale. We have an obligation to support our school and district leaders, so that they may support their team members, who make the environment conducive for all students to learn. 

I chose to share my experience as an ESE student in the preliminary stages of the Superintendent Search because resilience is something all of us have embedded. I needed to commit myself to learn how to read again … as a teenager. But it also taught me about how valuable the role of the parent is in educating their child. One of the reasons I believe I achieved success as a principal was because every parent coming in to school had a vested interest in their child’s success. The social contract between a school and a parent is no different than other social contracts between other institutions and the communities they serve. I’ve always believed that education remains a partnership, rooted in trust. We will ensure our parents view the School District of Osceola County with the same positivity they view other trusted relationships. 

Leadership on Day 1 matters. My experience leading all three levels allows me to walk into a Kindergarten classroom with a principal and talk instruction at 8 AM, to a middle school classroom at 10 AM and talk instruction and a high school classroom at noon and understand the environment, culture and expectations for that school and those classrooms. Because I lived it. My schools have always achieved at high levels. Dillard Street Elementary was always high performing. Ocoee Middle School was an Apple Distinguished School and Florida’s State Demonstration School for Technology. Edgewater High 

Dr. Mark Shanoff

Incoming Superintendent, Osceola School District