Donald Fielder has spent the bulk of his career as a professional educator, but the last few years has ventured into the private sector - unlike some of the six other candidates applying to become Collier County's next school chief. Three years ago, he created the Geronimo Consulting Group that provides leadership training and uses his own book called "How 19 Can Defeat 5,000: The Leadership Teachings of Geronimo." Donald FielderHe's worked for D & D Marketing, where he assisted school districts in raising money through exclusive agreements with private enterprises, such as soda companies. And until last month, he worked as a vice president for Edison Schools Inc., the largest private manager of public schools in the nation.
"I've had lots of experience working in many different environments," Fielder
, 56, told the Collier County School Board
on Friday. He
was the fifth of seven candidates being interviewed.
...Fielder came to Florida for his higher education, attending St. Petersburg Junior College, the University of South Florida in Tampa and the University of Florida.
At Marietta City Schools in Georgia, he
spent 10 of his
15 years there as an assistant superintendent.He then became superintendent at Park City School District in Utah and Academy School District Twenty in Colorado.
AT A GLANCEDONALD FIELDER
...But for the first time, member Nelson Faerber asked how Fielder would help the board deal with side issues brought by small groups.
said boards handle this by having "standard operating norms."He
addressed a group of parents wanting to start lacrosse, which meant spending money in a new area.
board had a guiding rule that stated until student performance increased, no additional money would be spent for extracurricular activities.
"That norm handled that issue," Fielder
said, adding it's important to research how a majority of parents feel on an issue when a small group approaches a board.
When asked about White becoming deputy superintendent, Fielder
would appreciate his
knowledge.But if White used his
connections to block initiatives, he
could become a negative, Fielder
"That's not a question for me but for him," Fielder
Schools can be empowered by using site-based management, such as handing over the per-pupil budget to each school, Fielder
added, as an example, if a school saved a penny on utility costs, then that penny could be spent in other areas.
"There is no one best way to educate all children," Fielder
said, "You have to empower schools."
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