Principal interviews begin next week

Published 9:15 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

Interviews will begin next week for the Charles Henderson Middle School principal position.

Jimmy Mathews, interim superintendent for the Troy City Schools, said Friday he and assistant superintendents Chreseal Threadgill and David Helms are proceeding with the interview process, even though some school board members have suggested that the process be delayed until a new superintendent is hired.

“We’re going to hold interviews next week,” Mathews said. “We’re going to do our dead-level best to have a recommendation ready for the June 20 board meeting.”

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Mathews said the school district also begins advertising today for the open principal post at Charles Henderson High School. Applications will be accepted for two weeks, and then he said administrators hope to quickly begin that interview process.

Dr. Kathy Murphy, principal at CHHS, announced this week she will leave June 30 to become superintendent at the Monroe County Schools. Her departure leaves two of the district’s three campuses without a principal, and compounds the search process for administrators.

Earlier this week, school board president Roxie Kitchens said “there has been a suggestion made that maybe we should hold off until the new superintendent has been hired.”

However, Mathews said he and administrators feel the need to work quickly to get principals into place, since campus principals likely will need to fill open staff positions and will need to get organized before the start of the school year on Aug. 15 .

“If I were coming in as principal, I’d want to have some say so on the staffing,” Mathews said. “Of course, that’s the same thing some school board members are saying about the superintendent …

“But if they bring a person in as superintendent (between July 1 and July 15) and school starts within a month, we’re going to have another mess on our hands.”

The application period for the superintendent post closed at 4 p.m. Friday. This was the second round of applications. School board members received five selected candidates from a search firm in May, but declined to interview any, opting instead to reopen the search. Mathews said fewer than 20 applications were received in this round of the search process.

Kitchens said Friday she hoped the superintendent selection process would move quickly. Board members have access to the applications, which are housed in the central office, and would be encouraged to review the applications independently. On Friday, the board announced plans to hold a called work session on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Candidate interviews will take place during a public meeting. “We plan to interview one candidate per day, with the meetings likely starting at 6 p.m. to give people an opportunity to come after work,” she said.

“Dr. Judson Edwards (vice president of the school board) is in charge of the interview process,” she said.