By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Monday was the last day applications were accepted for Starkville School District’s vacant superintendent position, but now the real search begins.
The Mississippi School Board Association now has the task of working through all the applicants to check references and interview candidates. According to Executive Director Michael Waldrop, MSBA will then compile a report for the school board to review and determine who it would like to interview.
Though MSBA has not contacted the school board about the information pertaining to the search thus far — such as the final number of applicants — board President Keith Coble said he believes school board members will know something soon.
“It’s my hope that we’ll know something by next week’s meeting,” he said. “We hope we’re getting a good pool (of applicants), and I’m anticipating knowing something soon.”
Back in August, a representative from MSBA held three hearings for teachers, staff and community stakeholders on what qualities they would like to see in a new superintendent. All three groups expressed a desire for someone who is a good communicator, who would live in the district and be an active member of the community.
The feedback from the employees and public was complied into a report for the school board. The board then finalized the criteria and compiled it into a finalized list for advertisement.
The board decided it was looking for a candidate with a doctoral degree from an accredited college or university with at least six years of combined experience as a public school teacher and an administrator.
The candidate should also have a successful data-driven teaching and administrative experience in schools and communities with diverse populations and have experience with budget preparation and fiscal management, but also understand curriculum issues, including special education, vocational and technical trends, and know how to use technology to reach a broad range of student needs.
Keeping in line with the wishes of the public, the board asked that the candidate understand the value of community involvement and maintain high visibility within the schools and community. The candidate should also be open to working with stakeholders to develop both short-term and long-range goals and objectives.
The position was advertised through the American Association of School Administrators, the National Alliance of Black School Educators and Education Week, a national publication that covers K-12 education, from Sept. 12 through Oct. 31. The advertising included a 30-day, online job posting and additional job-of-the-week style options to increase the advertisements’ exposure.
Although several other cities in the region have been searching for superintendents at the same time as SSD, Waldrop said he did not believe it would have an effect on either the quantity or quality of applicants the district would receive.
The school board will likely give a report on the search results during its regular meeting on Nov. 9