Broward County Public Schools

Schools chief finalist praised as reformer; Florida administrator Varela-Russo to speak at public forum tonight

Speak to people who know and work with Carmen Varela-Russo, a finalist for chief executive officer of Baltimore public schools, and you will be struck by the simple uniformity of the way she's characterized: dynamic, highly focused, and a consensus builder who makes firm decisions.

"Carmen is so consistent in how she works and treats people," said Billie Miller, a curriculum specialist at South Florida's Broward County Public Schools, where Varela-Russo is an associate superintendent, "that you find people sort of gushing over her in the same terms. That's something unusual in the world of education."

Varela-Russo is scheduled to meet the public,...