Southampton delves into superintendent search

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Southampton County Public School Board announced at Monday evening’s meeting that it has begun accepting applications for the position of district superintendent. Applications are due by April 3, with the interview process anticipated to take place April 15-30.

Superintendent Dr. Alvera J. Parrish announced in January that she will retire on July 1. The 58-year-old, who assumed her position in 2012 after a five-year stint in various administrative roles at Petersburg City Public Schools, said that she would like to travel and spend time with her family.

Dr. Deborah Goodwyn, chairman of the school board, said at that time that the process of finding Parrish’s replacement would take 15 to 18 weeks. Having solicited from county residents the qualifications that they believe are most important through a survey and subsequent public hearing, the school board prefers that all applicants have earned a doctorate; have experience as a superintendent or associate/assistant superintendent; and have teaching or public school administration experience. The candidate must also become a resident of Southampton County.

According to the online application, the district is looking for a candidate who is a visionary, creative thinker and decisive leader; a good listener; accessible and consistent; understands the differences between policy and administration; effectively mediates and accommodates different perspectives; maintains open channels of communication to and from staff; creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect; relates well to a variety of community groups; advocates school issues and needs; closely supervises budget development and procedures; has the ability to develop and explain the rationale for the budget to the board and local officials; and has expertise in curriculum and instruction, budget, finance and school reform.

The Virginia School Board Association is assisting Southampton County Public Schools with the search process. Inquiries into the position should be directed to VSBA Executive Director Gina Patterson at 434-295-8722.