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Wanted in next Halifax County school superintendent: a homebody

SoVaNow.com / March 13, 2017


Members of the Halifax County School Board talked for an hour Thursday night about the qualifications they will prioritize in their search for a new Superintendent of Schools.

At a public hearing to consider the matter, five citizens spoke out. Trustees also have received 219 survey responses from citizens who listed their priorities for the new school chief.

One sentiment was expressed over and again: the new superintendent to replace retiring Merle Herndon should live in Halifax County. Herndon lives in Brookneal.

Responding to citizen input, chairman Karen Hopkins said she felt the board should pay close attention since trustees have said they want the superintendent selection process “to be community driven.”

The School Board has tapped Gina Patterson of the Virginia School Board Association to lead the search process, and the next step will be to let her know what qualifications to screen for as she evaluates potential candidates.

To meet the mandate that the new superintendent live in Halifax County, trustees would allow the new hire to move here within one year of accepting the position.

Any candidate who is not willing to move to the community will not be considered, trustees indicated.

Survey respondents were given three options for rating the importance of potential job requirements — “required,” “preferred” or “not important.”

To ED-3 trustee Kim Farson and ED-4 trustee Joe Gasperini, requiring the next superintendent to live in the county meant that “a great candidate” could be automatically eliminated from consideration. But ED-5 trustee Freddie Edmunds suggested the requirement would produce a smaller but more committed pool of candidates.

ED-8 trustee Walter Potts said the new superintendent will be paid by the county and should live and pay taxes here and spend money locally.

Survey respondents also provided a set of “preferred” qualifications — as opposed to required. The first such qualification is prior experience as a teacher or public school administrator in Virginia. Respondents also indicated a preference for candidates with a background as a central office administrator or as a associate/assistant superintendent .

Other survey respondents called for hiring a team player who is comfortable with shared decision-making, a decisive leader, a visionary and a creative thinker.

Personal characteristics include being a good listener, accessible, consistent and caring.

The new superintendent also should strive to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, while maintaining open channels of staff communication. The ability to fairly and effectively evaluate staff is a preferred qualification for the position.

Ability to inspire public support for the schools, communicate effectively within and outside the system, and propose creative funding solutions for school needs were also among the top survey responses.

Finally, the successful candidate should have expertise in curriculum and instruction, school reform and budget and finance.

This list of qualifications is being sent to Patterson with salary requirements to be negotiated based on experience and qualifications.

Applications for the position should be completed no later than April 7 and sent to Patterson, executive director of the Virginia School Board Association, 200 Hansen Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911 or by calling (434)295-8722 or e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

No contact should be made with school trustees by applicants.

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Local superintendent-Dr. Nancy Leonard!! Don't blow this one school board members!!!
Don't let your consultant lead you down a wrong road!!'

Comments

Halifax County is more than welcome to have Nancy Leonard back! She has done NOTHING constructive during her tenure in Charlotte County other than threaten to eliminate bus drivers, reduced their benefits, AND hire a direct family member who is under her supervision as Maintenance/Facilities Director. She applied and wasn't chosen to be Halifax County's superintendent before, so PLEASE hire her now so Charlotte County children & parents will no longer suffer under her direction.


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