Kingsley the new assistant superintendent and chief academic officer of Sarasota County Schools

She had served as the district’s executive director of elementary education since February 2015

Laura Kingsley. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden named Laura Kingsley the assistant superintendent/chief academic officer for the Sarasota County Schools, effective March 23.

The School Board is expected to formally approve the appointment at its April 4 meeting, a district news release says. The position is a new one under Bowden’s reorganization of his cabinet, which also will consist of an assistant superintendent/chief financial officer, as well as an assistant superintendent/chief operations officer, the release points out.

Kingsley, 59, has served as the district’s executive director of elementary education since February 2015, the release notes. In that role, she has led a task force to close the achievement gap between white and minority students; worked with foundations, school administrators and teachers to help students strengthen their reading skills as a fundamental building block of learning; and supported community programs to bolster school attendance, among other initiatives, the release adds.

“Dr. Kingsley is the ideal person to continue and enhance our district’s tradition of academic excellence,” said Bowden in the release. “In her career as a teacher, principal and district administrator, she has always found innovative ways to ensure that all children reach their full potential throughout their academic careers. She is a big-picture thinker who cares about each and every student.”

Before becoming executive director of elementary education, Kingsley served as principal of Fruitville Elementary (2001-2014), assistant principal of Emma E. Booker Elementary School (2000-01 and 1995-97) and assistant principal of Laurel Nokomis School (1997-99), the release says. From 1988-95, she taught at Emma E. Booker Elementary, where she served as a supervising teacher for interns and a mentor for new teachers, the release adds.

In 2012, Kingsley was named Sarasota County Principal of the Year, the Council for Exceptional Children Principal of the Year and Florida Studio Theater Educator of the Year. She earned a national award for teaching economics in 1991 and was Teacher of the Year at Emma E. Booker in 1990 and 1993, the release notes.

Kingsley earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., the release adds She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.

Kingsley said in the release that she and her husband, Ric, “are proud of our four children, who all graduated from Sarasota County schools. We also have eight grandchildren under the age of 7 who are future graduates of our schools!”