Search for new superintendent down to two, hire expected next week

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

Clark County Public Schools will soon have a new superintendent.

The screening committee submitted two names for consideration to the board of education during a special-called meeting on Monday.

The two candidates – whose names were not released – will be interviewed over the next week, with the district anticipating making a hire by next Friday.

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The board and the committee held their discussion during a closed session, and while what was said will remain behind closed doors, there was a consensus coming out of it.

“I think the committee is secure in their recommendations to the board,” said Interim Superintendent Elmer Thomas.

The screening committee is made up of the seven following members: Ashley Ritchie, Travis Marcum, Kari McGrath, Brian Foudray, Angie Estes, and Narcissus Burnam.

Ritchie is the board’s representative on the committee and served on previous ones.

She said that the committee’s recommendations were unanimous and elaborated on what qualities it was looking for in a superintendent.

“It was a wide range,” Ritchie said. “Elementary through high school experience; dealing with communities. We want someone who is out and open in communities … We were also looking for someone with financial expertise.”

The committee also strongly considered candidates who worked in a district of comparable size and who had experience with building projects.

Ritchie also said that the committee was looking for a specific personality type.

“A big thing for the committee was that they want to see someone inside their buildings. They want someone who is welcoming, friendly, open, and honest but can handle what they need to,” she said.

The search for a new superintendent began with a shock announcement when the board and the district’s former superintendent, Dr. Molly McComas, announced a mutual parting in late June.

The board voted in July to hire the Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA) to help it facilitate the search for McComas’ successor.

During a meeting on Friday, Sept. 2, KSBA representatives informed the board there were seven completed applications for the job and two incomplete ones. Six applicants were from Kentucky, and one was from out of state. All seven applicants were male.

The board then tasked the committee two review the applications and to bring two names back to it for consideration.

District 2 BOE seat update

The board is still waiting to hear about an appointment from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason Glass to fill the seat left vacant by Brenda Considine.

Thomas said he reached out to the Kentucky Department of Education’s legal department last Friday and was told Monday that the district would hear about “the next step soon.”

Considine resigned from the board unexpectantly on July 14. The board formally accepted her resignation on Aug. 2.

Per Kentucky law, the board had sixty days from when it accepted Considine’s resignation to choose a new member with a majority vote. If it could not come to a consensus, then the appointment would be made by Glass.

Due to the sheer volume of applicants – nine were received – the board voted to waive its appointment window during a meeting on Sept. 2 and requested that Glass make the appointment.

While Thomas said he could not speak for the commissioner’s office, the expectation is that an appointment will come no later than Nov. 2.