Super search

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New superintendent could be hired by May 20

By Stevie Lowery

Twenty-three people (18 men and five women) have applied to be Marion County's next superintendent. The screening committee held its first meeting in closed session Thursday to begin reviewing the applications.

According to information provided by Mike Oder of the Kentucky School Boards Association, 21 of the applicants live in Kentucky and two applicants live in other states. Three of the applicants are currently acting superintendents, eight have district level experience but are not superintendents, eight have no district level experience, one is affiliated with an education organization and three of them are classified as having "other" experience.

Following its first meeting, the screening committee met with the school board during the board's regular monthly meeting Thursday evening. Oder reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the screening committee and the superintendent search process with the board. He also discussed the need for confidentiality.

"I stressed to the committee today how important confidentiality is in this process regarding information we share in closed session," Oder said.

He also reiterated that before hiring a superintendent, the board must consider the recommendations of the screening committee, but it's not required to follow their recommendations. The school board makes the final decision on who to interview and who to hire.

"If the search goes well and the district hires a good superintendent, the credit may be shared between the board and the screening committee," Oder read out loud to the board from KSBA literature regarding the superintendent selection process. "However, if the search goes poorly and a poor superintendent is hired, the blame is entirely the board's. The board is responsible for hiring the superintendent, and it is the board that the community should correctly hold accountable."

The screening committee was scheduled to meet again yesterday, Tuesday, April 19, at Lebanon Elementary School. During that meeting, which was conducted in closed session, the committee was going to review applications and choose which applicants to begin conducting background and reference checks on.

The next superintendent screening committee meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, at Lebanon Elementary School. It will also be in closed session and the committee will be finalizing its recommendations for the board. At that time, all applicant files and the committee's notes will be turned over to the board.

On Thursday, April 28, the committee will meet with the school board and will be required to recommend a minimum of five candidates to the board. The school board will have a planning meeting following the committee's recommendations.

During the month of May, the board is scheduled to interview candidates. If all goes as planned, the board will hire a new superintendent Friday, May 20.

The superintendent screening committee consists of the following individuals:

- Donna Royse     Principal representative, chair of the committee

- Ed Hacker         Board representative

- Brad Mattingly   Parent representative

- Pat Neal            Minority parent representative

- Marilu Farnham  Teacher representative (Glasscock Elementary School)

- Hollie Buckman  Teacher representative (Lebanon Middle School)

- Scott Spalding   Classified representative, director of transportation and maintenance