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May 13, 2013

Superintendent search begins for Madison County Schools

Special-called meeting scheduled Wednesday

RICHMOND — The news broke of Superintendent Tommy Floyd’s resignation April 29, but the Madison County School Board accepted his official resignation at Thursday’s meeting.

The board voted to engage the Kentucky School Board Association for its superintendent search services and will meet with a consultant 9 a.m. Wednesday at central office in a special-called meeting.

“One of the most important things a board of education ever does is to hire a superintendent,” said David Baird with KSBA. “It is an extremely important position.”

The KSBA has been in the business for more than 20 years, and has placed more than 100 superintendents since he began working there in 2005, Baird said.

The all-inclusive, five-step plan for hiring a superintendent would cost $8,500, he said.

That announcement received a noisy reaction from the audience at Thursday’s board meeting. The room was full of district employees who had come to protest a proposal to cut up to two contracted work days from the school calendar, effectively slashing paychecks for every district employee.

The proposal died for lack of motion, but it was one of the cost-saving measures the board was considering to make up a $2.84 million deficit in the budget.

So the consultant price of $8,500 did not seem to sit well with some board members and those who attended the meeting.

 Board Chair Mona Isaacs had to pound the gavel to regain order.

“With the way schools are struggling … is there a way you could reduce that fee?” asked board member Mary Renfro. “We need to get that cost down some.”

If the board does not require some of the services in the comprehensive package, “we would be glad to negotiate reduced services,” Baird said.

The five steps include:

1. Develop a plan —Set a timeline and discuss advertising and the establishment of the screening committee.

2. Advertisement and recruitment — Advertise for the position, notify districts and candidate pool, accept applications and process applications for screening committee.

3. Screening committee help — Guide and work with the committee throughout the process to meet the board’s charge, prepare all paperwork and develop legal advertisements.

4. Board interviews— Help the board develop the next step following screening committee recommendations and schedule interviews with candidates.

5. Appointment — A sample contract is provided as well as legal guidance and optional contract negotiations.

Baird said the $8,500 price would cover everything in the five-step plan, including advertisement and brochure costs.

“Obviously, we do not pick your next superintendent. That is the statutory responsibility of the board of education, and we simply assist you with whatever you would like for us to do,” Baird said.

KSBA would work with a central office contact to make sure the elections are established according to law, he said.

The committee will consist of two teachers elected by teachers; one board member appointment by the chair; one parent elected by presidents of PTO/PTSOs; and one classified employee elected by other classified employees.

Because the district has a more than 8 percent minority population, a person from a racial minority group must be elected to the committee, Baird said. If a person from a minority group is not elected to the committee, an additional election must be conducted in which parents would elect a minority parent to join the committee.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@

richmondregister.com

or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

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