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District 833's Porter nearly a semifinalist for Orlando superintendent job

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Superintendent Mark Porter nearly was a semifinalist for the top job in the Orange County Public Schools in Florida.

Porter was among applicants for the superintendent job in Orlando, and was recommended by a citizen committee to be interviewed as a semifinalist. However, Porter missed the school board's cut last week, according to a district spokeswoman. Five other candidates advanced and were being interviewed this week.

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Porter is looking for a new job after the District 833 School Board did not renew his contract, which ends in June.

The Orlando job would have been a big jump: there are 187,000 students in the Orange County Public Schools, more than ten times the number enrolled in South Washington County Schools.

Among those supporting Porter's pursuit of the Orlando job were Jim Gelbmann, one of two District 833 School Board members who favored extending his contract, and Tom Nelson, the former District 833 superintendent. Gelbmann and Nelson each wrote a letter of recommendation for Porter.

Porter said he has about eight other applications pending in six different states.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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