Superintendent pool includes one local

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 9, 2011

The applicant pool for Troy City Schools superintendent includes one Pike County resident and at least two sitting superintendents.

Dr. Mike Hall, principal at Pike County High School in Brundidge, is one of 23 applicants being considered for the position.

Also applying were Dennis Brown, Bremen, Ga.; Shelton Cobb, Oxford; Kevin Culpepper, Montgomery; Cynthia Davis, teacher, Franklin County schools; Tangere Davis, English teacher, Chambers County; Dr. Body English, principal, Emanuel County Schools, Twin City, Ga.; Dr. Georgia Gary, principal, Dothan City Schools; Stacey Gill, assistant principal, Birmingham City Schools; Hansell Gunn, principal, Midfield High School; Dr. LaVerne Halliburton, K-5 teacher, Liberty School District, Pooler, Ga.; Dr. Anitra Hampton, Hueytown; Lee Hicks, principal, Prattville High School; Dr. Venesia McClaney, Central Office, Macon County, Tuskegee; Dr. Alan Miller, director, of operations, Eufaula City Schools; Alexis Seymore, superintendent, Dawson Springs Board of Education, Dawson Springs, Ky.; Rodney Smith, principal, Vicksburg-Warren School District, Vicksburg, Miss.; Kim Staley, superintendent, Moss Point School District, Moss Point, Miss.; Dr. Roger Studdard, Whitfield County Schools, Cohutta, Ga.; Luke Taylor, Marengo County, Montgomery; Joseph Vaughn, Jackson County, Scottsboro; Dr. James Waters, Middle Tennessee State University; and Lt. Col. J. Michael Wills, principal, Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Ky.

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Troy City Schools Board of Education members met in a work session Monday to begin reviewing the applications. They expect to meet again on June 13 to narrow the candidate field to the finalists who will be interviewed for the position.

“I don’t know how many we’ll interview,” said Roxie Kitchens, board president.

Kitchens said board members reviewed the applications during the work session and administrative staff members are working to secure additional documentation and information from candidates who submitted their applications online.

“The ones who submitted their applications through the mail included everything in the packets – transcripts, college certificates, etc.,” she said. “Those who applied online, we have to get more information from them.”

Kitchens said she could not say how many of the applicants met the board’s specifications as outlined in the job description. However, she said, the “highly qualified” designation is not a requirement for the superintendent position.

“We checked on this,” she said. “It’s my understanding that if the person was in administration at the time the No Child Left Behind requirement of ‘highly qualified’ became effective, they were exempt from having to get that certification. It was only for classroom teachers.”

The “highly qualified” designation specifically refers to instructional areas, such as English or chemistry.

Educators must meet requirements by having a certain number of content hours in those areas. For example, a chemistry teacher must have taken a certain level of college chemistry courses in addition to the education curriculum courses to be considered highly qualified in chemistry.

The board has been conducting a search for superintendent since January when Dr. Linda Felton Smith announced she would step aside from her role effective March 1. Board members originally conducted a search through a contracted consulting firm, but members rejected the five finalists presented to them in May, opting to reopen the application process and conduct a new search.

Dr. Judson Edwards, vice president of the board, is overseeing the interview and search process. He said earlier this week he hopes the board will conduct interviews during the week of June 20, with a goal of having a new superintendent on contract by July 1.