MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade School Board has selected Dr. Jose L. Dotres to replace outgoing superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

When asked what he plans to do first, Dotres said, “The first thing I want to do really is meet with my cabinet members and have a good meeting with school principals, because, I have to tell you, I have to really evaluate where they are, what the needs are for the schools and probably have a principal meeting. I think it’s really important to start with school leaders first.”

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Dr. Dotres beat out Dr. Rafaela Espinal and Jacob Oliva.

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The decision was made during a special meeting Monday held in the auditorium of the School Board Administration Building at 1450 NE 2nd Avenue. The meeting was open to the public.

After public comment, the interview process began with Dr. Dotres.

“The pandemic has created incredible disconnection of students and I tell you I worry about it, they’ve been at home virtually and they’ve gotten very used to themselves, their cell phones and all of that, how do we reconnect them and all of that, ” said Dr. Dotres.

“Behind my decision is to continue serving the community that welcomed me when I was 5 years old,” said Dr. Dotres.

Dr. Dotres is currently the deputy superintendent of Collier County Public Schools, but before that he was with Miami-Dade Public Schools for over 30 years.

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He held roles as teacher, principal and regional superintendent.

He was the first candidate to appear before the board and was named by Dr. Steve Gallon as his top pick.

Dr. Espinal was the only female candidate and the only one from out of state.

She’s currently with the New York City Department of Education working as an assistant superintendent at the office of talent management and innovation.

She’s held school leadership roles in both New York and New Jersey.

Oliva is a senior chancellor with the Florida Department of Education and oversees the Division of Public Schools.

He was previously a superintendent of Flagler County Public Schools.

Carvalho will take over as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District on March 1.

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He was Miami-Dade’s second longest-serving superintendent. He took over in 2008 after starting his career as a math and physics teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High School. Team