Jeffrey Hernandez resigns

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - At the end of this school year, Jeffrey Hernandez will no longer be an employee of the Palm Beach County School District.

On the day of his resignation, Jeffrey Hernandez was his usual calm self when reached by phone by Fox 29 on Thursday night. "I had a great experience in the one and a half years I've been here. I learned a great deal during the time here. And, obviously, it was time to take on a new path and new challenge."

His work as chief academic officer here had resulted in months of angry protests by most educators and parents who were upset by the extensive curriculum changes he tried to implement. He was later reassigned.

The new challenge, he says, is to explore several new job options -- most likely becoming a superintendent of schools somewhere else.

He applied for the top job in Polk and Charlotte Counties.

When asked about his failures here he said, "I learned what to do as a superintendent, and I learned what not to do as a superintendent."

Hernandez was at home with his children Thursday night after resigning from his $180,000 salary. He did not show any emotion or let on if he felt run out of town. He also seemed to hold no animosity towards his employers who wrote glowing letters of recommendation for him.

"I think the Palm Beach County School District is a great district. It is filled with great educators and great leaders," he said.

Some would argue Hernandez should be nowhere near school leadership. The Classroom Teacher's Association's president Robert Dow says Hernandez put teachers backs against a wall during his tenure. "He did not take input from teachers or anyone else. He had a top down approach to education and it didn't work," said Dow.

During his tenure parents went to Facebook sites, such as "Testing is not Teaching", to vent about Hernandez's now failed plan.

On Thursday, the message boards were a virtual 'see you later' to Hernandez with one person writing "finally" and another commenting, "This is great news".

"Jeffrey Hernandez came in with a very controversial plan this year. If it weren't for the Internet, people might still be asking for Jeffrey who?," asked Lisa Goldman, the creator of "Testing is not Teaching."

Hernandez would not say where he will be headed next. "I have several opportunities on the table. I'm currently analyzing the opportunities. As long as I'm helping children, I'm excited about any opportunities."