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SSD trustees say candidate short list forthcoming

January 11, 2012

The Starkville School District should have a list of semi-finalists — possibly even finalists — for the superintendent position sometime next week, school board President Keith Coble said Tuesday.

The school board narrowed down the list of 22 candidates during an executive session Tuesday night, though Coble could not confirm an exact number. The board president will submit the names to the Mississippi School Board Association today.

MSBA will handle contacting the candidates to confirm their spot as a semifinalist and perform the background checks. Once the candidates are confirmed and their background checks are cleared, the board will release a final number and a list of names to the public. Depending on the number, those candidates may be confirmed as finalists.

“We’re going to start that process (Wednesday) and assuming we get that information back next week, we’re going to call a meeting next week and we will declare our list of semi-finalists,” Coble said. “Depending on how many names we get — and we’re not sure yet — if we get down to a real short list, the logistics are easier than if its longer. We’re probably going to talk about logistics in that next meeting as well, in terms of, can we do it all in a one-step process or is it going to be two steps? It depends on a number.”

Coble said board members had a good discussion on the applicants and feel good about the candidates they’ve chosen so far.

“We could have gone deeper than we did, but it kind of fell out comfortably that we had a set of candidates that we wanted to look at. We want to move forward and not let them get away from us,” he said. “People came in with different perceptions. People put different weights on different things that they were looking for, but in terms of coming up with who we were comfortable with, it wasn’t that hard.”

Once the list is confirmed, the board president said he’d like to see the interviews get started as soon as possible.

Coble said the board has decided to include some sort of public event, though the logistics of that event have not been confirmed.

“There’s going to be a public aspect to this so the community can see the candidates, hear the candidates and give feedback,” he said.

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