New Superintendent Kurt Browning: 'I Like This Gig Already'
The former secretary of state was sworn in as the Pasco School District's leader at a board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 20.
The meeting room of the Pasco County School Board was transformed at Tuesday morning’s meeting—both in body and spirit.
Change was in the air as Kurt Browning was sworn in as the district’s new Superintendent by Clerk of Court Paula O’ Neil in front of a standing room only crowd.
The room, sullen of late as meeting after meeting focused on bullying and coercion, buzzed with enthusiasm—and laughter—as a jovial Browning assumed his new role as the district’s leader.
“Let’s do it!” Browning said as he was called on for his swearing in. His ardor was met with chuckles, which resumed as he laid heavy emphasis on the final words of his oath: “So help me God.”
A standing ovation from the crowd, which trickled out into the hallway, followed.
“I like this gig already!” Browning said as he took his seat among the board members.
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Browning took an opportunity to thank his wife and family, many of whom were in attendance, as well as former Superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her staff, who went out of their way to accommodate him and make the transition "as smooth as possible."
Browning also thanked his mother, also in attendance. And “if anything goes wrong, she is the root of all blame," he joked.
Festivity aside, Browning acknowledged there are plenty of “unsettled issues” and work to be done, but said his genuine passion for his job will drive him to pursue "excellence" in the district.
That drive comes from one place: “I don’t have to do this,” he said.
He doesn’t need the job, he wants the job, Browning said. “I do it because I want to do it and I’m committed to the kids in this district.”
And everything he does, everything the district does from this day forward, he said, should be based on one question: “Is this best for the kids?”
The Pasco School District will be and continue past his tenure to be a great district, Browning said.
Now it's time to "get down to business and do what we have all been called to do and provide quality education for students," Browning said. “I’m excited about it and looking forward to the challenges ahead."
See also: School Board Members Take On New Roles