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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval County School Board voted Tuesday evening to offer a superintendent contract to Nikolai Vitti as itwrapped up day long interviews with the three finalists.

The Board reached out to Vitti and told them he is open to starting negotiations, according to Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Jill Johnson.

"I am honored by the board's decision and deeply respect the transparent process by which I was selected. I look forward to moving through the negotiation process so we can begin the collective work of taking our district to a national model of excellence for students," Vitti said in a statement.

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Kriner Cash, the outgoing superintendent in Memphis, was the only candidate to have held the top position in any school district.

"I think the business community from my impression what I heard and gathered ... Jacksonville is one school system away from being a great city," said Cash during his interview.

Cash, along with Dale Robbins, retired associate superintendent for Gwinnett County schools in Atlanta, and Vitti, current chief academic officer from Miami-Dade schools, all made the cut for the top job.

Robbinsis a retired educatorwho wanted back in this time as a superintendent.

"If you want a person who promises you everything can turn around overnight, I would encourage you hire somebody besides me," said Robbins.

Vitti, who was the youngest candidate with school age children, said he is prepared for the job.

"When looking at the three candidates, I can say that I am the only one in the age of accountability that has been a teacher, principal, a district administrator and a state administrator," said Vitti.