Sampson Independent

School board one step closer to new leader

The application deadline for the Clinton City Schools’ superintendent has passed, and based on the number of interested candidates, the board of education has a difficult job ahead.

Following the retirement of Dr. Stuart Blount, former CCS superintendent, board members enlisted the help of the North Carolina School Board Association to conduct a community and staff survey and ultimately hire someone as his replacement.

With assistance from the NCSBA, the board has hired an interim superintendent and developed a timeline to permanently hire someone for the position. Applications were due by May 14, and according to information provided through the superintendent’s office, a total of 34 applications were received. Applications came from a total of 12 different states.

Applications will be made available to the board May 25 during the board’s work session, and between that time and June 4, the board will review those applications and meet June 4 to choose candidates to be interviewed in the first round.

During the period between the initial and final interviews, NCSBA will conduct complete and thorough reference checks and request the criminal and credit background checks of the finalists.

Finalists will be chosen between June 18-24 and final interviews will be conducted between July 16-22. Contract discussions will take place between July 23-27. A final announcement is planned for July 27, with employment to begin Aug. 27.

The NCSBA recently presented the board with survey results. A total of 91 community surveys were completed, and a total of 104 staff surveys were completed.

Based on the majority of the surveys, both community and staff members would like to have someone who is from the community, and not just using Clinton City Schools as a stepping stone. Additionally, the staff and community would like the new superintendent to have classroom experience, the ability to collaborate well and a strategic plan for long-term and short-term goals.

As for why the board decided to conduct not only staff surveys, but seek community input, board chairwoman Carol Worley said the board is interested in what those who are part of Clinton City Schools in some way want to see in their next leader.

“We want to get everyone involved in the selection process,” Worley said about the staff and community input for the system’s new superintendent. “It’s an exciting time when you are going through a change in leadership and looking forward to where the school system is going to go.”

Members of the community will continue to have the opportunity to speak publicly during upcoming board meetings to present their thoughts to the board.

“Citizens may also sign up to address the board during the public comment period at any of the upcoming regular board meetings,” a press release from the NCSBA reads. “All meetings will be held in the media center at Sampson Middle School, located at 1201 West Elizabeth Street. Citizens must sign up to speak before the meeting begins and must otherwise comply with board policies and guidelines.”

By Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.