LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Monday, the Little Rock School Board will begin interviewing candidates recommended for superintendent by the search firm McPherson and Jacobson.
After a unanimous vote, the Board agreed to interview the top four candidates selected by the search firm from an initial pool of nine potential superintendents. Individual interviews will be conducted February 25-27, 2013 and March 4, 2013.
The schedule for each candidate is as follows:
- Monday, February 25 - Dr. Connie Hathorn, Youngstown, Ohio Public SchoolsSuperintendent since 2011. 5,900 students. Received doctorate from University of Iowa. Former associate superintendent at Youngstown (2010) and former executive director of student support and 19-year veteran of Akron City School District.
- Tuesday, February 26 - Dr. Stefanie Phillips, Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia. Deputy Superintendent since 2009. 52,000 students. Received doctorate from University of Southern California. Former deputy superintendent of 34,000 student Chino Valley, California Public Schools.
- Wednesday, February 27 - Dr. Dexter Suggs, Indianapolis Public Schools Chief of Staff since July 2012. 31,000 students. Received doctorate from Indiana Wesleyan University. Former chief information officer, former high school and middle school principal and former coach.
Monday, March 4 - Dr. Walter Milton, Springfield, Illinois Schools
Superintendent since 2007. 15,000 students. Received doctorate from University of Buffalo. Former superintendent in Flint, Michigan and Fallsburg Central School District in New York.
Following a tour of schools, the candidates will have a meet and greet with LRSD parents, the general public, media, PTA Advisory Council, certified/non-certified employees, and union representatives on each of the above dates. The meet and greets will take place in the board room of the Little Rock School District Administration building, 810 West Markham, according to this daily schedule:
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - General Public and Media
- 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - PTA Advisory Council and Parents
- 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Certified/Non-certified Employees and Union Representatives
In addition to inviting input from the above-referenced stakeholders, the LRSD Board also appointed a 12-member advisory committee, representing a cross section of the community, to help in the selection process.
McPherson and Jacobson lead consultant Loe Dunn says the firm vetted all candidates by talking to references and getting additional references from those listed as references by the candidates. Additionally, candidates were screened based on a list of criteria and preferences as expressed by board members and a group of community stakeholders. Those criteria included requirements for candidates to have a doctorate, progressive experience in an urban school district and the ability to improve academic performance and student achievement, to name a few.
LRSD Board president Dianne Curry says she is confident in the process and believes the District will find the best fit for its new superintendent.
"Next to setting policy, this is one of the most important decisions a school board can make," said Curry. "Not only are we looking for an executive with a proven track record, the Board is interested in someone who will be able to provide the necessary leadership to implement the Board's goals and who is a good communicator who will work well with students, parents, the community and other key stakeholders."
(Source: Little Rock School District press release)