Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Who will qualify for Superintendent?

The Webster Parish School Board should know by the end of today exactly how many candidates will qualify for interviews.

The Superintendent Search Committee met last night to continue to develop the timeline in the search for Superintendent.

"We will mail out letters to candidates who we know are certified," Board President Johnnye Kennon said. "This will allow the three candidates who did not initially qualify time to supply us additional information if they disagree with the third parties' decision."

The decision to use third parties to research the certifications of applicants and to send letters of notification to the three applicants who were found not certifiable was based on board attorney Jon Guice's advice.

"Both Caddo and Bossier Parish school boards were able to assist us as third parties," Kennon said. "They were wonderful to work with, and we really appreciate them for being willing to lend a hand and help us expedite the process."

Interviews that will be open to the public will be held on Monday, August 8 and Friday, August 12.

If only the six currently certifiable candidates are interviewed, the interview times will be at 4, 5, and 6 p.m on both days. If the board finds that one or more of the three non-certifiable candidates are indeed certifiable, interview times will be added at the end of the interview segments at 7 p.m.

"This will help make the interviews more accessible to all board members and the public as well," Kennon said.

Much discussion was held among the committee and other attending board members about the days and times to conduct the interviews.

Many board members are employed during normal business hours and have schedules that could conflict with the interview schedules. Several committee members expressed a desire to have the interviews attended by all board members and noted the days of Monday and Friday may help out-of-town candidates when traveling.

Frankie Mitchell asked if the board would supply hotel accommodations and food subsidies for candidates who traveled to Webster Parish for interviews.

"I think that if a candidate wants the position, the candidate will show initative by paying for their own room and meals," Jerry Lott said. "I have never been reimbursed for any interview I have been on."

"Yes, but in the new world, factories, businesses and other companies will set them up and feed them," Mitchell said. "I did check and it is common practice, and common courtesy, really, to provide this for candidates."

"That may be so in other places, but we are a broke company," Lott said.

Kennon said she thought candidates would be willing to come in at their own expense and noted that candidates were aware of the location of the job when they applied.

"I really don't (agree)," Mitchell said. "But I still think it's quite tacky."

Ronnie Broughton also mentioned that his constituents have asked him to make sure every board member has a vote in the final three candidates.

Previously, the search committee suggested the top three candidates would be presented to the board at the recommendation of the search committee, which would leave all board members voting only on the new superintendent from the top three candidates.

"People in my district have been very adamant about all board members having a voice in who is in the top three," Broughton said. "It is important to them that they have a way to voice their opinions throughout the process."

After discussion, it was decided the topic mentioned by Broughton should be discussed with the board's attorney and added as an agenda item, based on legal advice, at the next board meeting.

The committee moved the board's meeting from August 8 to August 9 in order to accommodate the interview process.






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