Taylor Board sets superintendent schedule

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Timeline could bring a new superintendent by May 15.

By James Roberts

There could be a new Taylor County superintendent in town by May 15.

During a work session prior to its regular meeting Tuesday night, Taylor County School Board members adopted a timeline for its superintendent search.

Superintendent Gary Seaborne announced last month that he would retire effective June 30 after 27 years as Taylor County superintendent.

"When you dedicate most of your adult life to the education profession, it's hard to close the book on that, but it was time," Seaborne said in December. "It has been a good ride and I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life."

Seaborne said he doesn't have his post-retirement plans mapped out just yet.

"I don't know for sure. I might travel. I have a farm. I have some other business interests I might pursue."

During a special meeting a week later, Board members agreed to contract with the Kentucky School Board Association at a cost of $8,500 to help with their search to replace Seaborne.

According to the timeline adopted Tuesday, advertising for the position will begin by Jan. 26.

In advertisements, the Board opted to list pay as "commensurate with rank and experience." Board members also agreed to include information about the District's intentions to build a new school in the next few years.

The application period closes on April 10. The process could culminate in the naming of a new superintendent by May 15.

"These dates are not set in stone," said Mike Oder, former Franklin County superintendent and now a KSBA superintendent search consultant. "The ball is in the Board's court after the screening committee meets."

According to the timeline, the screening committee will meet three times before giving its recommendations to the Board on April 27.

Oder said the Board's only obligation to the screening committee is to consider their recommendations. Oder 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.

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 the committee should be elected by the end of February.

The Board will ask the screening committee to narrow the list of applicants down to five.

The Board also set its applicant criteria, which, Oder said, will help guide the committee. Candidates must have administration experience, integrity, be an innovative leader, possess strong interpersonal skills and be willing to delegate.

Oder said he would guide the screening committee through the process, encouraging committee members to do Internet searches on the applicants, do personal screenings and find references the applicants have not listed.

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