VOLUSIA COUNTY — Ronald “Scott” Fritz, a veteran public school administrator in Florida, was tapped Tuesday as Volusia County’s next superintendent of schools.

Fritz, the chief for Teaching, Leading, and Learning for Osceola County Public Schools, was the top pick of Volusia County School Board members.

Before that, he was a top administrator for Orange County Public Schools in various roles for five years.

His salary and start date in Volusia County will be determined later.

Assuming all goes as planned, Fritz will replace Tom Russell, who was fired in May.

Russell was criticized for communication failures with Volusia County School Board members. He was blamed for failing to tell them about a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the treatment of students with disabilities.

Russell later became the principal of Flagler Palm Coast High School.

When school board members launched a search for a new public schools leader, they pledged to make community input a key part of the process. They assembled a team of community advisors.

They also hosted a series of community forums in September to solicit residents’ opinions about the qualities, skills, and experiences they wanted in their next superintendent.

About 40 hopefuls applied by the September 25 deadline to run Volusia’s school district, the 13th largest in Florida.

Volusia County Schools has 63,264 students and 7,521 employees.

The Volusia County School Board interviewed Fritz and two other finalists -- David Moore and Peter Licata -- last week.

“I have been blessed to serve in the field of education for 28 years with an unyielding commitment to equity so that every child may reach their potential,” Fritz said in his September 6 letter of interest. “I know that you are looking for the right candidate to lead Volusia County Schools and I eagerly await the opportunity to demonstrate the requisite leadership principles, skills, and commitment to being your superintendent.”

He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.