Attorney D’Agata to leaving school board for position in Tallahassee

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 10/24/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County School Board will soon have discussions surrounding a new school board attorney.

Last week, School Board Attorney David D’Agata announced to the board and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Attorney D’Agata to leaving school board for position in Tallahassee

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County School Board will soon have discussions surrounding a new school board attorney.

Last week, School Board Attorney David D’Agata announced to the board and Superintendent Addison Davis that he is resigning to take a position with the Florida Department of Education.

Hired almost two years ago by a 5-0 vote by the school board. D’Agata has accepted a position as deputy general counsel with the Florida DOE in Tallahassee.

“Reaching the decision to resign was incredibly difficult for me, as my tenure fortuitously coincided with an era of dramatic growth and improvement seldom seen by public school districts in our state, and even our country,” D’Agata wrote in his resignation letter. “I take tremendous pride in having played a role – albeit a minor one – assisting the Board, the Superintendent and his Cabinet Members, and so many gifted personnel throughout our District in such achievements for the good of Clay County students and the community at large.”

D’Agata was originally attracted to the job he’s leaving after learning Davis was elected to lead over the district in 2016. According to D’Agata, he had worked tangentially with Davis in the past and enjoyed doing so, so when he learned Davis was elected, he applied for the position in Green Cove Springs.

Now, after 18 months, he’s moving on, but he said he’ll always be available for advice to the board. D’Agata also told the board during the Oct. 23 School Board Agenda Review Workshop that the board will have a good friend in the DOE now.

While he’s served as the attorney for the Clay County School Board for about 18 months, Clay County was not where he fell in love with education. D’Agata began his career as a classroom teacher more than a dozen years ago.

“I was an educator before I was a lawyer,” D’Agata said. “I was a teacher. I got my Ph.D [a doctorate in education] while in my second year of law school.”

D’Agata said it was his time as an educator that inspired him to practice law in the field of education. Today, he has 15 years of law practice under his belt, with many of those years devoted to education.

Davis, like the rest of the school board, said he was sad to see D’Agata go but happy about the work he did for the district during his tenure.

“I’m thankful for the last two years of work D’Agata has done for this board,” Davis said. “It’s not easy being in that position, but he did great things for us and with us.”

Looking forward, the school board is now tasked with hiring a new attorney and they must do so fast as D’Agata’s last day is Dec. 21.

“We have to try to figure out the best way for Clay County because every county is different and I want to get the best legal service I can get for the least amount of money,” Studdard said.

Because the Oct. 23 meeting was only a workshop, no action could be taken. The Clay County School Board will discuss its next move in the legal arena at the upcoming regular school board meeting, which will be held at 6 pm. on Nov. 1. In the initial discussion, the board talked whether there was a consensus to hire a new attorney or a desire to only contract for legal services with a law firm well-versed in education policy and law.

D’Agata replaced Starke attorney Dan Sikes who was hired by former School Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment