Job search under way

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2003

The search for a new Troy City Superintendent is official under way.

At the Troy City Board of Education meeting in March, board members decided to hire N&P Educational Associates of Guntersville for a maximum cost of $6,500 to handle recruitment.

"We felt it would be better for them to do it," said board member Ron Pierce, who is chair of the Search and Selection Committee.

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"They have the expertise and experience with this kind of thing."

This week, the firm mailed out hundreds of brochures and data forms to superintendents and educational organizations all over the state, officially beginning the superintendent search.

The brochure lists educational, economical and geographical facts about Troy, a description of the position and the required qualifications.

A new requirement this year is a doctorate in education.

Pierce said the new requirement stems from the No Child Left Behind Act.

"New federal guidelines say teachers have to go back to school in their particular subjects," he said.

"We (the board) felt that since teachers have to be more qualified and go back to school, our superintendent should also be highly qualified."

Pierce said only nine of the 20 schools in the district require superintendents to have a doctorate degree.

Troy will make the number 10.

Other qualifications include knowledge of school finance and educational research, the ability to evaluate and solve any of the system's problems, communication skills and personal integrity.

The official brochure lists many more.

The board is also looking for someone who has immediate experience.

"We don't want someone who was a superintendet ten years ago," Pierce said.

"We want somebody who has been a superintendent, teacher or principal for the past five years."

N&P will use the board's criteria to find the five best-qualified candidates for the superintendent position.

They will also complete background checks, security checks and credit checks on the candidates.

Pierce said the firm will hand over the candidates and their information by May 27.

On May 28-29, the board will decide on whom they want to interview.

"We don't know how many candidates we will interview," Pierce said.

"We may interview five, we may interview three."

Board members will interview candidates June 9-13.

Depending on how many candidates the board interviews, they could hold one or two interviews a day.

Though Pierce can't say exactly what will happen, he said the board did plan to do specific things with the candidates.

He said at least two board members will take the candidate on a tour of the school system's facilities and he hopes to hold a reception so people can meet and mingle with the candidate.

Afterward, all five board members will interview the candidate.

"It's an open process," Pierce said.

"People can come and sit through the whole process.

Of course, they can't ask any questions because we'll be interviewing."

The board will also videotape the interviews so they can review each candidate before making a decision.

At their scheduled board meeting on June 16, the board will vote on the new superintendent.

"The ultimate goal is to have the new person in place by July 21," Pierce said.

However, even though Hank Jones' last day isn't until Sept. 30, the school will not have two operating superintendents during the overlap time.

"Mr. Jones will stay on contract through the end of September," he said.

"But we'll make him a consultant to finish the year out."

Pierce said Jones will be available to answer the new superintendent's questions and work on other projects.

"Mr. Jones has done a fantastic job for the system and we'd rather him not retire," Pierce said.

"But, we as a board, respect his decision."

He also said the board will work hard to find a new superintendent who will be just as devoted to Troy City students.

"You can be sure the board will find the best qualified person available to fill his spot," he said.