Search for next Selma superintendent will begin soon

Published 8:12 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The search for Selma City Schools’ next superintendent will soon be underway.

During a work session Tuesday, the board announced plans to vote on acting Superintendent of Education Larry DiChiara’s recommendation to contract with the Alabama Association of Schools Boards to conduct the search.

“I’d probably say that 90 to 95 percent of the school districts across the state bring an outside agency in to conduct the search,” DiChiara said. “Here we thought it was especially important to do so, because we want the community to have confidence that an independent group is going to be searching for the very best and are going to kind of guide our efforts to make sure that we’re going at it in an open and transparent way.”

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Founded in 1949, AASB has a good reputation for involving the community and surveying stakeholders when they lead searches for the school leaders, DiChiara said.

DiChiara’s goal is to hire a firm to conduct the search in December and announce the opening in January. He would then like the agency to start accepting applications, narrow the field of candidates and set public interview dates for the finalists.

The aim is for the final selection to be made in March, at the latest, with the new superintendent to be on the job by June 1.

DiChiara said Tuesday that the board planned to meet Wednesday with the Alabama Department of Education representatives. During that meeting, Dennis Coe, the division director for the Office of Supporting Programs, and James Wright, an educational consultant, will discuss the state’s plan for the search and provide updates about their intervention and how the state will exit the system.

The board’s expected timeline may change following the meeting, and those changes will be announced to the public.