Danville school board begins superintendent search

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A new superintendent could be named in the Danville Independent Schools by June, based on a timeline laid out by Tim Eaton, field consultant with the Kentucky School Boards Association.

Eaton presented a tentative timeline to the Danville school board Monday night at a special called meeting.

“My only concern is there are about 21 or 22 vacancies (in the state) at this point and they’ve got the jump on us — most of them,” said board member Steve Becker, referring to other school districts. 

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He asked Eaton what would happen if they didn’t find a viable candidate for the position within the 30-day window listed on the timeline.

“We’ve got other options,” Eaton said. He explained the timeline could be changed down the road, if necessary.

The board approved a contract to hire the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) as a facilitator for the superintendent search process at a cost of $6,000 plus mileage. According to the contract, the role of KSBA will be to “provide the board with advice regarding the legal requirements relating to search.”

That includes helping the board define the criteria, recruit, handle all applications and develop a timeline and advertising materials.

KSBA also provides expertise, assists the screening committee and prepares an interview guide.

Eaton explained the process to the board, which starts by advertising and creating a screening committee.

KRS 160.352 states, “Prior to appointing a superintendent of schools, the board of education shall consider the recommendations of the screening committee, but the board shall not be required to appoint a superintendent from the committee’s recommendations.”

According to KRS, the superintendent screening committee must include:

• two teachers, elected by other teachers in the district;

• one board of education member, appointed by the chair;

• one principal, elected by principals;

• one parent, elected by the presidents of the parent-teacher organizations in the district; and

• one classified employee, elected by other classified employees.

If the district has a minority population of more than eight percent, which Danville does, and no minority representative is selected out of the six chosen, a minority parent must be chosen by election, bringing the total to seven.

Anyone who serves must maintain strict confidentiality, Eaton said.

“You have personnel information that is highly confidential. We work to ensure confidentiality to the best of our ability,” he said.

The board is part of developing the advertisements for the position and Eaton gave them a list of candidate criteria to look at and use for building the ad, including having effective people skills, being fiscally responsible and having knowledge of Kentucky education system. He encouraged them to pick out the top several traits to include.

Eaton presented the board with a draft ad, but said he was “willing to change all of it.”

The application process is to be open 30 days, beginning March and closing in April, based on the tentative timeline from Eaton.

He said the complete application will include a complete work history, eight open-ended questions for candidates to answer, a criminal background check and three reference letters.

After the applications close, a joint meeting between the board and the screening committee will be held, which is when the committee will begin the process of paper screening the applicants.

Tentatively scheduled for April 24, the committee will meet again to narrow the applicants to undergo background and reference checks; another meeting will be held in early May to finalize the recommendations to the board.

Scheduled for May 15, a joint meeting between the board and the screening committee will be held again, to hand over the recommendations of the top three to five candidates and information and files on all candidates. The board will begin interviewing the candidates later in May, ideally naming one sometime in June.