The Carter County Board of Education met with the Superintendent Search Committee for the first official time Monday evening.
The search committee consists of two teachers in the district, one board of education member, one principal, one parent and one classified employee as defined by KRS 160.352. The board member, chosen by the board chair, is Rachel Fankell. The principal, chosen by the principals, is Star Elementary Principal Charles Baker. The two teachers, chosen by the teachers, are Heather Berry and Linda Burton. The classified employee, chosen by the classified employees is Renee Steele, and the parent, chosen by the parent organization, is Kathy Manzoni.
The committee was handed a copy of the charge from the board of education, which was then read aloud to the group by board chair Lisa Ramey-Easterling. The charge included the KRS by which the committee is formed.
Each person on the committee signed a confidentiality agreement that does not allow for sharing any information or talking about candidates to anyone outside of the screening committee or board of education. The members must also destroy all digital or physical files pertaining to the hiring after their role is complete.
The process for the screening committee will take approximately a month. The committee met following the board of education meeting to begin what Kentucky School Board Association consultant Don Martin called “intensive sessions.”
The committee is scheduled to meet again Sept. 20 and Oct. 5. If the committee decides to speak with candidate, virtual interviews will be conducted Oct 5 and, if needed, Oct. 6. The committee will then make a recommendation to the board Oct. 11 during a special board meeting. Another special board meeting will follow Oct. 12.
Eight candidates have applied for the position, which Martin said was lower than normal. This is due to the time of the search as searches typically take place in the spring as most contracts for superintendents end in the spring time. However, Martin said that though the quantity is lower, the quality of candidates match what he typically sees in a search, adding there are quality candidates from which to choose.
Four to six candidates will be recommended to the board on Oct. 11. The board will then take over from there. Martin explained that the committee should only recommend those candidates with which the committee is comfortable.
The board and committee were given demographical information during the open portion of the meeting Monday. Eight men have applied for the role. Three are current superintendents, three principals, one retired person and one a central office employee. The central office category can include positions such as assistant superintendent or director of pupil personnel, according to Martin.
Seven of the eight are in-state applicants. One is not from Kentucky.
The screening committee learned the names of the applicants in closed session following the board meeting Monday.
In the charge from the board of education to the search committee, the qualifications and characteristics for the new superintendent were listed.
The board is looking for a superintendent who is “student-centered for all students” and who understands “all decisions must begin and end with what is best for current and future students,” according to the charge to the committee.
The new superintendent must be honest, trustworthy, moral and possess a high level of integrity. The best candidate would be an exceptional leader and “energy to continue the momentum of Carter County Schools exceptional success,” according to the committee.
A candidate should “demonstrate futuristic leadership,” have “experience in motivating students, staff and certified personnel,” and “work collaboratively and cohesively.” The superintendent must be able to interpret and make financial decisions, have communication and technology skills, understand the district’s goals and be a leader in the community.
The ideal superintendent should “ensure all children learn at their maximum level … be open and approachable to discussing and implementing new innovative school initiatives … (and meet) the needs of all students present and future,” according to the charge.
The charge states: “Our next superintendent will be charged with continuing to execute a rigorous student-centered vision for success and achievement within Carter County Schools.”
The committee will work toward making a recommendation for the four to six candidates for the board to consider. Once the board has the list, they may decide to announce finalists, but most boards choose to keep the information private until a superintendent has been hired, according to Martin. He will discuss the decision with the board in the coming weeks as the process unfolds.
The board must review and consider the recommendation of the committee and should consider the recommendation, but is not bound to the decision and the board does not have to hire from the recommended candidates.
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