TCS reopens superintendent search

Published 7:56 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

After conducting an initial search for a new superintendent, the Troy City Schools Board of Education members have decided to repost the position and begin a new search.

Board members met Monday in a special called meeting to review the results of the search conducted by the Alabama Association of School Boards. Five candidate resumes were submitted to board members for review.

“In our general discussions, we felt like we needed to interview at least three candidates for the position,” said Roxie Kitchens, school board president. “We determined from our analysis of the resumes that we would not have three candidates out of that group that met our criteria.”

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Kitchens said while each of the five candidates met the “experience criteria” listed in the job description, the group presented to the board did not include a minimum of three candidates who embraced the remainder of the qualities sought by the board.

“We determined the process had not satisfied the board’s expectations and so we voted to reopen the search,” she said.

The board had contracted the Alabama Association of School Boards to conduct a search for the replacement for Dr. Linda Felton Smith, who moved from superintendent to a consultant position effective March 1. As part of the agreement, the AASB guaranteed confidentiality to all candidates who applied and agreed to release only the resumes and information on the finalists to the school board. Kitchens said the search firm had received 11 applications for the position, but board members only received the names and resumes of the confirmed finalists.

Those included Dr. Alan Miller, director of student services for the Eufaula City Schools; Dr. Kenneth Oliver, director of student services for the Macon County Board of Education; Dr. Michael D. Smithart, superintendent of the Opp City Schools; Dr. Addie Swinney, executive director of human resources for Auburn City Schools; and Dr. Kathy Murphy, principal at Charles Henderson High School.

“We have encouraged all of those who applied in the initial search to reapply,” Kitchens said.

According to the board’s brochure developed for the search, the successful candidate would possess academic preparation and depth of administrative experience; be an effective instructional leader; have the ability to align the budget to the system’s priorities; have a track record of increasing enrollment; be effective at aggressively competing with non-public schools; be committed to creating strong partnerships with Troy University; and be a dynamic, energetic and personable individual who has demonstrated collaborative leadership and is effective in building and maintaining strong community support for public education.

The salary range for the position is $100,000 to $150,000, based on experience and degrees held.

The school board members are not utilizing a search firm for this second search. “Initially, we decided to work with a search firm because we thought the process would be too time consuming for us,” Kitchens said. “We feel like we can do it now. (The search firm) was very accessible, but I think the board understands the vision we have better and can communicate that vision.”

Kitchens said the job posting will remain open until June 3. Board members will meet Monday, June 6, to review all the applications received and begin the process of selecting candidates to interview.

“Our goal was to have someone in place by July 1,” Kitchens said. “It’s still doable.”