The Bibb County school board members stayed behind closed doors for more than two hours Thursday, wading through 14 applications from across the nation as the board winds down its search for a new school superintendent.
The board met for its monthly committee meeting at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and went directly into executive session with officials from Proact Search, an Illinois-based firm hired in May to conduct a superintendent search.
Board members resurfaced at 4:48 p.m. with thick, white binders marked “confidential.”
School board President Gary Bechtel said of the 14 applicants considered, some of the school administrators are from Georgia while others are out-of state candidates. There are no internal candidates in the pool of 14.
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By law, the system does not have to reveal candidate names until it narrows the number of finalists to three.
“It’s going to be a difficult job to whittle it down for interviews,” he said. “We were impressed by the degree of experience and depth of their knowledge and locations they came from.”
Friday, the board will receive a way of scoring those 14 candidates from Proact, and by Sept. 17 board members are scheduled to choose their top five to seven picks to come to Macon for interviews, Bechtel said.
By Oct. 15, the board then hopes to announce to the public up to three finalists. A new superintendent would be hired under a three-year contract and would earn a minimum of about $200,000 a year, the base salary paid to former superintendent Sharon Patterson, who in February was let out of her contract 17 months early.
“Now that we have a manageable list, there is a sense of urgency to get to it and get the process moving,” he said.
Other board members did not want to comment Thursday on the search.
The school board planned to have a new superintendent hired by Sept. 1, then pushed the deadline to Sept. 15 to allow the community more time to give input to build a candidate profile.
Then the actual deadline to apply for the Bibb County job was extended from Aug. 13 to Aug. 27 to allow for last-minute applicants.
According to Proact, 173 people applied for the Bibb County schools chief job.
Of those, 67 percent were male and 33 percent were female.
Half were white, and 44 percent of the candidates were black. Nearly a quarter of them had at least 25 years of education experience.
The profiles presented to the school board Thursday included the candidate’s summary, résumé, responses to pre-interview questions, data supporting their work as well as information from background checks.
To contact writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.