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Finalists for county superintendent put forward

BY KATHLEEN FOX kfox@paducahsun.com

The McCracken County School Board, like the Paducah board, is now in charge of the final phase of the school superintendent hiring process.

The county board met with the screening committee Wednesday night to receive the list of finalists. Both searches are being overseen by Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) consultant Butch Canty.

The screening committee provided the school board with between three and seven unranked finalists. There is no timetable for the release of names pending the notification of applicants and the scheduling of interviews to be conducted next week, according to board Chairman Jeff Parker.

He said the committee's decision on the group of finalists was unanimous, and both boards were impressed with the high quality of the large number of applications.

The committee and the board met on March 6 to outline their desired qualifications and search timeline. The six-member council, with representatives from within the schools and in the community, vetted 31 total applicants using resumes, essay answers and reference checks during four meetings.

The screening committee consisted of Don Heine, school board; Dan Pope, Lone Oak Elementary School principal; Jill Wilcox and Crystal Culp, county certified teachers; Todd Jackson, facilities director representing classified staff, and Tiffany Watson, parent representative.

Board Chairman Pope said the group stayed busy, was diligent and adhered to the guidelines set forth by the KSBA throughout the process. He said the decision making benefited from the unique perspective of different stakeholders within the school community working together to make a collaborative decision.

Pope expressed confidence that the next superintendent is within the list of finalists presented to the board.

"I said all long that I wouldn't give them a list unless I was sure every one on it could be the next superintendent," he said.

Other recommendations of applicants not selected by the screening council can still be included at the request of board members. Parker said the county will be able to stay on its timeline and hire a superintendent by March 28.

Superintendent Nancy Waldrop announced that she wouldn't seek another contract when her current agreement ends on June 30.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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