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Board votes for assistance in search to replace Sutton

By JASON MORROW jmorrow@paducahsun.com

The McCracken County School Board voted unanimously to contract with the Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA) to help find the next superintendent to replace Quin Sutton, who will retire in June.

Mike Armstrong, executive director of KSBA, presented to the board during its Thursday meeting, saying KSBA's services would alleviate stress for board members.

"There's probably no other single decision any more important to your community than you'll make in hiring a superintendent," Armstrong said.

Contracting with KSBA means the board will enlist the help of a consultant, Butch Canty, who has aided with the last three superintendent searches. The current board members, however, have never had to hire a superintendent.

Armstrong said the first meeting with Canty would be to help capture the qualities the board wants the next superintendent to exhibit.

Board member Chris Taylor said he previously had some reservations about contracting with KSBA because of the $6,000 cost.

"The last six superintendents McCracken County has hired, every one of them except for one has been in a pretty close radius of McCracken County," Taylor said. "With that being said, with a different makeup of the board and none of us having experience in hiring a superintendent, I think it's well worth the money."

Armstrong said that the fee was not a budget-maker for KSBA and the $6,000 essentially allows the group to break even.

After the meeting, board chairwoman Kelly Walker said she was glad to be working with KSBA.

"I think it will be a great asset for our district to use them," Walker said.

"It's a third party to accept those applications and facilitate that process for us."

She said it was important to have assistance to help keep the board within the legal parameters of hiring a new superintendent.

One of the next steps will be for Canty to help put together a screening committee.

Based on KRS 160.352, the board cannot appoint a new superintendent until it receives a recommendation from a screening committee. The committee must be formed within 30 days of the board determining a vacancy in the superintendent's position, which it did in Thursday's meeting.

The committee must be composed of two teachers, one board member, one principal, one parent and one classified employee. After the committee makes the recommendation, the board decides whether to hire the person recommended.

Sutton's last day as superintendent will be June 30, and the board hopes to have his spot filled by July 1.

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