Superintendent field narrows

Published 3:29 pm Friday, November 7, 2008

The school board has narrowed the field of candidates for the city’s superintendent vacancy to “less than six” and hopes to interview the finalists by Thanksgiving, Chairman Bill Scarboro said Friday.

“We have some very good applicants in the pool – some very qualified people and people who have been very successful in their careers,” Scarboro said a day after the school board met in a lengthy closed session to winnow the list. “We’re excited to interview them.”

Scarboro said the board received “27 inquiries of various sorts” about the job and “wound up with 12 applicants who went through the full application process and got everything in to us” before an Oct. 31 application deadline.

Of the 12, four are current or former superintendents, four are assistant or deputy superintendents, three are central office administrators, such as directors of instruction, and one is a building-level principal. Four applicants are from outside Virginia: two from South Carolina, one from North Carolina and one from New Jersey.

Scarboro declined to identify the candidates on the board’s “short list” or to say whether the list contains any internal candidates.

The school board last month named Associate Director of Instruction Beverly Rabil as acting superintendent, but Rabil has said she is not a candidate for the permanent post. The board is seeking a successor to William Pruett, who resigned before the start of the current school year.

School board members have received training on conducting panel interviews, Scarboro said, in preparation for face-to-face visits with the finalists.

“We’ve got a little more polishing to do, but we’ve put together a good process and gotten everybody up to speed on how it works and how we’re going to do it,” he said.

Only school board members will participate in the closed-door interviews, he said.

“Once we get it down to the final person, I think there are going to be some folks in the schools and in the community who are going to want to meet the person,” he said. “By that time, the person’s name will probably be pretty much out and hopefully we’ll be close to having a contract worked out.”

Scarboro said he hopes to have a new superintendent on board by Jan. 1, but the board would accommodate a candidate who doesn’t want to move until the end of the school year.

“We’re still pushing for the first of the year,” he said. “That’s what we’re working hard to do.”