No new county schools chief yet

Sherry Matthews Editor

December 20, 2013

A 30-minute closed door session may have brought the Sampson County Board of Education a little closer to naming a new superintendent, but not close enough for members to take a vote to hire the next schools chief.

After opening the door and inviting those attending back into the room, school board chairman Telfair Simpson got right to the point. “We have worked very diligently, interviewing superintendent candidates, and we’ve had some very good candidates, but we haven’t reached a final decision yet.

“We are very close,” Simpson stressed, “but no final decision has been reached at this time.”

With that Simpson wished the attending school system staff and board members a Merry Christmas and adjourned the meeting.

Friday’s meeting was the second closed door session this week, with personnel as the topic, and presumably the superintendent search at the forefront of board members’ minds.

But neither meeting ended with the naming of a new school chief.

Simpson said Friday that the board’s number one goal was to find the perfect fit for the school system.

“We really want to do what’s best for our system, and find the right person for this job. That often takes time,” the board chairman stressed.

But, he was quick to point out that the Board of Education had its sights set on filling the position — currently held in an interim capacity by Dr. Mike Warren — by the first of the year.

“We’d love to have someone named by then, that’s for sure … and that’s our goal,” Simpson said.

Board members, he said, had narrowed the search to two potential candidates.

The search for a new school chief began shortly after former superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker tendered his resignation last summer, just before the start of the 2013-14 school year. Board members brought Warren on board in an interim capacity to help lead the system until a new person could be placed at the helm.

“Like I said before, we are close, but we’re not quite there yet,” Simpson reiterated.