Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti was selected as Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) in September of 2012. He comes to Jacksonville with the goal of moving the district from "good" to "great" by increasing the achievement of all students.
Dr. Vitti's primary focus is to take the district from good to great by:
- Expanding early childhood education;
- Increasing the graduation rate;
- Developing instructional leaders;
- Improving teacher quality and morale;
- Streamlining the efficiency of business and operations; and
- Strengthening parent and community involvement
Prior to being named Superintendent of Duval County, Dr. Vitti was the Chief Academic Officer of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) where the district earned the Broad Prize for Excellence in Education. As the Chief Academic Officer, he led the 66 lowest-performing schools in the county while also driving the work of Language Arts/Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Career and Technical Education, Early Childhood Education/Head Start, School Improvement, Title I, HIPPY, Title II and Summer Programs district-wide for over 320 schools.
Dr. Vitti's career accomplishments include serving as the assistant superintendent of the Education Transformation Office (ETO) with M-DCPS where he autonomously led a region of 26 schools identified as "persistently lowest-achieving" by the United States Department of Education and Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). The 26 schools increased proficiency in reading, math and science. Under his leadership, all Intervene Schools improved and avoided sanctions. In addition, each of the 10 high schools under his supervision improved their graduation rate with average gains in the double digits. Participation and performance in Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment and Industry Certification courses significantly increased through an emphasis on infusing a "college-going" culture in secondary schools.
Dr. Vitti also served as deputy chancellor of school improvement and student achievement with the Florida Department of Education as well as bureau chief of school improvement/executive director for region one. In these roles, he led statewide professional development for superintendents, district administrators, principals and teachers on school improvement initiatives. He also guided the work of five regional offices that directly served the state's lowest performing schools and their districts. He managed the bureaus of School Improvement, Federal Education Programs, Family and Community Outreach, Federal Support Programs, Early Learning, Just Read Florida! and Equal Educational Opportunities. During his tenure with FLDOE, 79% of the lowest performing schools under his supervision improved their school grade for two consecutive years.
Before joining the FLDOE, Dr. Vitti served as principal of Homestead Middle in M-DCPS, where he moved the school from a "D" to a high "B." The school experienced gains in each of the eight accountability areas. Before his appointment as principal, Dr. Vitti joined the cabinet of M-DCPS as the knowledge management officer, where he was responsible for coordinating multiple district-wide initiatives.
Prior to working in Miami, Dr. Vitti played an instrumental role in transforming the educational culture of a 4,000-student high school in the Bronx, New York. As head dean of students, he assisted in dividing the school into smaller learning communities, where test scores and attendance increased and incidences of violence and the dropout rate decreased. Dr. Vitti began his educational career as a teacher at both the high school and middle school level in North Carolina and New York. At each school, he notably raised student achievement.
Dr. Vitti received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was a member of the urban superintendent program, which has developed a number of successful superintendents throughout the country. In 2012, he completed his doctorate from Harvard in education administration, planning and social policy by writing a dissertation on urban parent involvement. He received his master's degree in educational leadership from Harvard as well.
Dr. Vitti holds another master's degree in education from Wake Forest University where he was awarded a Master Teacher Fellowship and a bachelor's degree in history. As an undergraduate, he earned Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa recognition.
Dr. Vitti is married with four school-age children who all attend public schools.