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Schools begin searching

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By James Roberts

Taylor County Schools has started its search for a new superintendent, while Campbellsville Independent will begin discussions at its next regular meeting.

At a special meeting on Wednesday, Taylor County Board members unanimously agreed to contract with the Kentucky School Board Association at a cost of $8,500 to help with their search to replace Gary Seaborne, who will retire at the end of the year after 27 years as superintendent.

Meanwhile, Campbellsville Independent’s School Board plans to meet with KSBA representatives at its regular meeting on Jan. 12.

Mike Oder, former Franklin County superintendent and now a KSBA superintendent search consultant, met with the Taylor County Board on Wednesday to discuss his services.

“If you contract with KSBA to do the search, it’s Taylor County’s search,” Oder said, adding that while he will lead the District through the process, it is customized to fit Taylor County’s specific needs.

With KSBA, the District will have access to legal, printing and advertising services. KSBA would also be an impartial third party, Oder said.

“It sometimes behooves the Board to have a third party working between them so the process runs smoothly. We walk you through the process step by step. There is a lot of work required here. Somebody’s going to do it. It’s either going to be someone that is not familiar with it or someone that is.”

The first step, Oder said, would be to meet again and map out a plan. The Board agreed to meet with Oder again at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, before its regular meeting at 7:30, to begin planning. The meeting is open to the public.

The second step, Oder said, is advertising the position and recruiting applicants. Most of the advertising, he said, would be done online.

The third step is establishing a screening committee to review applications and submit the best ones to the Board.

The screening committee, which is required by law, consists of a Board member appointed by the Board chair, a principal appointed by the school principals, a parent appointed by the PTO presidents, two teachers appointed by the teachers and a classified staff member appointed by the classified staff.

Oder said that he would guide the committee through the entire process.

Board Chairman Tony Davis asked what happens if the Board rejects all of the applicants the screening committee recommends.

Oder said the Board’s only obligation to the screening committee is to consider their recommendations. He said the Board could decide to interview candidates outside of the screening committee’s recommendations.

By state law, the hiring of a superintendent is solely the responsibility of the school board.

On average, Oder said, the process takes about four months from the start to the actual hiring of a new superintendent.

“You can go as quickly or as slowly as you feel you need to.”

Oder said KSBA will provide a sample superintendent contract to the Board and will even negotiate the contract if the Board wishes.

Bernie Cave made a motion to hire KSBA, which Lillian Clark seconded. The Board approved the motion unanimously.

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com.