The search for a superintendent for Clinton City Schools is one step closer, as board members have narrowed down their choices from a pool of candidates.
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.
That pool of nearly three dozen has been narrowed down to three, who will have final interviews Aug. 19.
“Our current plans are to make a selection after the interviews and begin contract negotiations shortly thereafter,” Dr. Linda Brunson, board chairwoman, said when asked about the status of the search. “If things go as planned, we may have an announcement by the end of August or first part of September.”
The 34 applications were made available to the board May 25 during the board’s work session, and between that time and June 4, the board reviewed those applications and then chose candidates to be interviewed in the first found.
Specially-called meetings were held on Sunday, July 8, Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12. All meetings were held in closed session, believed to be interviews.
“Other board members and I am very pleased with the outcome of the process so far,” Brunson noted. “Many thanks to the North Carolina School Board Association for their help in ensuring that this search is done in an effective and efficient manner. Our students deserve the best leader that we can find.”
The NCSBA assisted the board with compiling a survey and its results based on the expectations of the community and staff members. 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.
It has been the pleasure of the board to seek community input from the beginning — allowing the public an opportunity to speak during board meetings.
The need for a superintendent arose when Blount announced his retirement in February. The board hired interim superintendent Dr. Stewart Hobbs Jr., former superintendent of Sampson County Schools, in March to work in the capacity until the board could hire someone on a permanent basis.
In other personnel matters, the board voted Thursday night to approve the placement of an interim principal at both Clinton High School and Sampson Middle School.
Former CHS principal Steve Miller announced his plans to resign in June, leaving the leadership position at the school open.
Stuart Daughtry, retired principal from Sampson County Schools, was hired as interim for the high school position. Daughtry will serve until the position is filled with a full-time principal.
SMS principal Greg Dirks has taken a leave of absence due to military service and obligations, and will return in a year. During that time, the board hired Lisa Reynolds as interim to fill the position for a year.
Reynolds retired from Sampson County Schools as the director of federal programs, after working in the system as a teacher and administrator.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.