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Board of Education hires superintendent search firm

The Decatur County School Board voted Thursday night during a called meeting to enter into a contract with King-Cooper and Associates, who will assist with the search and hiring of a new superintendent.

The Board had previously voted in closed session on Feb. 25, but they had to revote in an open meeting before officially entering into the contract. The Board approved the agreement 5-1 with Keith Lyle casting the lone dissenting vote.

“There are several other organizations that offer Superintendent Search Services,” Lyle said. “I would have preferred that we researched some of the other options before making our decision on who to use. However, I do respect the choice of the Board and look forward to working with the organization we selected.”

King-Cooper and Associates assisted the Board when they hired Dr. Fred Rayfied. Sydney Cochran, the Chairman of the Board of Education, previously said that the professional way the search was handled last time was a major factor in deciding to use King-Cooper again.

King-Cooper posted the vacancy on March 1 and has also distributed vacancy announcements and nominations forms to organizations and individuals throughout the state. Additionally King-Cooper will actively recruit individuals that are qualified for the position.

“We engage the network of people that we have throughout the state,” Henry L. Cooper of King-Cooper said at the meeting. “We engage everybody that we know of that has the capacity to do the job or be a viable candidate for you all. We’ll ask them to consider coming and applying.”

They will also handle all communication with interested candidates and contact references for every applicant, according to Cooper. He said that they contact two to four references for every candidate, and also use their contacts throughout the state to contact people that are familiar with the candidate, but are not listed as a reference.

“You all know on a candidate application they are going to put their best people down,” Cooper said. “We feel like we have a good network throughout the state, so we find out and check with other people who may not be listed as a reference and kind of backdoor on the references a little bit, see what their track records like.”

The Board will meet with King-Cooper on March 24 in advance of the April 1 application deadline. At that meeting they will work to finalize a leadership profile for the attributes they desire in a superintendent and set a timeline for candidate interviews. The current projected timeline is to select candidates they wish to interview in mid April and schedule the first round of interviews for the last week April.

King-Cooper will be involved in every step of the process including assisting with interviews, candidate selection and developing the compensation package compared to similar and nearby counties.

As of Thursday, eight candidates had officially applied for the opening.

 

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