Best Of 2005

BEST NEW PUBLIC OFFICIAL: Pinellas School Superintendent Clayton Wilcox

Brash, bold and newsworthy, Clayton Wilcox inherited a moribund Pinellas County School District that had fallen mightily from the days when it was considered among the best in the nation. He also landed in the middle of a PR nightmare: Two students were hit and killed in traffic accidents after getting off their buses. His openness and candor, unheard of for the normally bureaucratic position, reassured the public. He’s also taken on powerful forces within the teaching ranks, as well as his own school board, in trying to shake things up. And talk about government in the sunshine: He’s an e-mail and blogging fanatic, making his mail and thoughts available online 24/7.