Bosses for Babies

How This Boss Makes an Impact for Children in Florida

In support of its employees and their families, the Hillsborough County Public Schools offers its employees full benefits through multiple packages. They also offer paid holidays, sick and personal time. They also have flexible work schedules aligned with student school calendars. And they also offer Employee HOST discounts for after-school care for their children.


Van Ayres serves as the Superintendent of Schools for Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), the nation’s seventh-largest school system. 

Before being appointed Superintendent, Mr. Ayres served as Chief of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, using his visionary leadership to direct and implement the district’s five-year strategic plan, all while fostering community relationships.

Prior to that role, Mr. Ayres served as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for Hillsborough County Public Schools. In that position, he used his data-driven expertise to spearhead the work to improve the district’s graduation rate, which increased 12.2 percentage points over five years. As Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Ayres also established procedures to allow access to Magnet and School Choice Programs for families transitioning into the district. He also implemented a process to allow families transitioning with a child with an IEP to connect with the ESE department before arrival. Mr. Ayres has long been an advocate for military families and military students in our district. Throughout his district-level roles, he was chosen as Co-Chair of The MacDill Council for Educational Excellence, which is comprised of MacDill Air Force Base and district leadership and meets quarterly to enhance the educational experience of Military-Connected students enrolled in HCPS. The ability of the partners to address emerging needs and the support of community partners has allowed for continued expansion and innovation of service for military children and families across Hillsborough County. Mr. Ayres also created a Military Staffing Specialist Position to assist military families transitioning with IEPs and worked with Government Relations on advocating for the establishment of the Purple Star School of Distinction through state legislation. 

Van Ayres is a leader in the community and has served on many community organizations and boards. He is a board member of the Children’s Board, American Heart Association, Junior Achievement, Starting Right Now, Tampa Bay Chamber, Museum of Science and Industry, and Straz Center. He is co-chair of the MacDill Council for Educational Excellence, MacDill Air Force Base 6th Air Mobility Wing Honorary Commander, YMCA Governance Board member, Museum of Science and Industry Board member, and Leadership Tampa Class of 2019. Mr. Ayres is an avid runner who has qualified and competed in the Boston Marathon. He enjoys spending his free time on the water paddleboarding. He has two children, Sophia and Ian, both who have graduated from Hillsborough County Public Schools.