Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Michael Dunsmore is among a short list of candidates to lead Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida, after the Duval County Board of Education narrowed its search to six semi-finalists at its meeting Monday.
Dunsmore was one of 26 applicants for the position, which has been open for more than a year since the previous superintendent Nikolai Vitti took a job leading the Detroit Public Schools Community District.
In Dunsmore's application, he wrote that he is looking to take the helm of a larger, more complex system.
"I am at a point in my career that I am ready to lead a nationally recognized school system and take it to the next level," Dunsmore wrote.
Dunsmore characterized himself as a hands-on leader and praised the "top-notch group of professional educators in Wayne County" that he currently works with.
Dunsmore has been at the helm of WCPS since July 1, 2015, when he moved from the same job in Tyrrell County Schools to take over the position left by Steven Taylor's retirement in 2014.
He has been the leading figure in the school system as it begins the process of redistricting and is now in charge of deciding how to speed up redistricting at five low-performing elementary schools by the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Dunsmore cited some of that work in his application, including the district-wide transfer policy which WCPS implemented last year and which set the foundation for redistricting to occur.
He also highlighted the "Raise the Age" legislation which he worked on, noting that suspensions have dropped each year since he took over.
Dunsmore did not answer phone calls, and WCPS spokesman Ken Derksen said that Dunsmore would not comment on the matter.
Patricia Burden, chairman of the Wayne County Board of Education, said that the board had learned of Dunsmore's application "recently," but did not want to elaborate on how long the board has known that Dunsmore was seeking other employment.
"We knew about it before it became official in Florida," she said.
Dunsmore and the other five semi-finalists will travel to Duval County on May 11 for interviews with school board members there, according to the DCPS website.