School board faces decision on superintendent search

Published 11:49 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Selma City School board discussed a variety of topics such as the ongoing superintendent search and the name change of Selma CHAT Academy at its work session held Tuesday.

Board president Henry Hicks favored a consultant team to come in and pick candidates for the open position rather than the board itself, due to possible ethics violations.

“I think if we’re going to do it, we really need to have a search team to do it because of legal issues down the road,” Hicks said. “Me personally, I would rather have a search team … I don’t want to go through all these applications … but I know it would be up to the board.”

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The State Superintendent gave the board an extension for the search until July 1. A decision cannot be made until after the 30-day advertising deadline on May 16.

Board attorney Katy Campbell, who has received one application and several inquiries about the open position, said the board has two choices.

“You can either say ‘well we want the search firm to come in and evaluate the applications we got in’ or you can make that decision yourself,” Campbell said. “You can set a date to have a meeting to review the applications and then select.”

Campbell said the interest for the position is spread out. If the board does choose to go with a search firm it would be like “starting over.”

“The consultants are going to want to advertise for at least six weeks and then you have run out of your time,” Campbell said. “I’m not saying don’t do it … if you go that route the consultants are going to want to re-advertise because they’ll probably want to do a regional search.”

If the decision is made to choose a firm, Campbell said there are still options.

“You can get a consultant firm and ask them to just review the applications they have and make a recommendation to you, or you can ask the consultant firm to start over,” Campbell said. “The problem with starting over is you’re going to exceed your deadline. If you’re going to get a consultant firm, ask them to review the applications that you have … even if it’s just 30 days, you still run out of time.”

The board spent $7,000 during the last superintendent search before hiring then superintendent Dr. Donald Jefferson.

The board will make a decision on what steps to take concerning the matter along with approving or disapproving the name change of Selma CHAT Academy to R.B. Hudson Middle School, at Thursday’s meeting.