NCSS Superintendent: BOE selects state group for search

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education announced Friday that it has selected the Georgia School Boards Association to conduct the search for a new superintendent of the Newton County School System.

"We will do a very broad search, as it is important that we find the best person to lead our school district," said school board Vice Chair Cathy Dobbs. "We ask that people keep the school board in their thoughts and prayers as we begin the search to find our next superintendent of schools."

Current Superintendent Steven Whatley announced in late October his plans to retire on June 30, 2010, saying it was his time to move on to other interests.

Don Rooks, GSBA director of Legislative and Superintendent Search Services, is leading the local board through the selection process, according to a press release from NCSS.

GSBA will help the school board establish criteria for recruiting and selecting a new superintendent, prepare and provide search materials and develop, mail and post announcements around the state and nation.

All applications for superintendent are sent to GSBA for processing, sorting and review. Once complete, the NCBOE will review the applications and select the top candidates to interview, which GSBA will schedule and help coordinate.

"GSBA's superintendent search staff advises the board during every step in the process while ensuring that the local board retains total decision-making control," Rooks said. "GSBA handles the majority of all superintendent searches that are conducted in Georgia."

On the search, Dobbs will serve as a NCBOE representative, and Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for NCSS, will serve as a school system representative; they will provide GSBA school district and community information.

The community also is invited to participate in the search by posting feedback regarding the qualifications they feel the superintendent should possess. The survey is available on the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

"Community input is very important to us," Dobbs said. "We hope we'll have people participate in this process, as hiring a new superintendent has a very lasting effect on our school system for years to come."

The community also can suggest any qualified candidate that GSBA can send a vacancy notice and application packet to by completing a nomination form on its Web site, www.gsba.com/forms/nsupt_nomination.html. Nominations must be sent in by Jan. 19, and applications must be received by GSBA by Jan. 29.

Dates for interviews and the selection of final candidates and the superintendent have not yet been determined.