Houston school board expected today to name new superintendent

The Houston County Board of Education will name its choice for superintendent today following a two-month search.

The board will announce its decision during its regular monthly meeting at 1 p.m. at the school board offices in Perry.

In February, Superintendent David Carpenter announced he would retire at the end of May. He has served in that role for three years, and 35 total within the Houston County school system.

Less than two weeks later, the school board announced it would begin its superintendent search internally first during a called meeting Feb. 22. Among the requirements for applicants were experience as a principal, experience with administration, budgets and personnel, and a goal-oriented management style.

The announcement yielded four applicants, two who were deemed qualified enough to proceed with interviews — Perry High School principal Darryl Albritton and Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Robin Hines.

Both Kings Chapel Elementary and Perry High have seen academic gains under Albritton’s leadership at each school. Hines has built experience at schools throughout the state and was the principal of Northside High School before being promoted to his current position in 2008.

The school board interviewed the candidates during a called meeting Thursday in executive session that lasted into the evening. During those interviews, candidates answered questions about leadership, student achievement, the budget and other matters.

“Both applicants were well prepared, and I don’t think we can lose out either way,” said board chairman Tom Walmer. “Both applicants would be a great choice for superintendent.”

The new superintendent will work with Carpenter for the remainder of the school year.

Among the duties of the new superintendent are oversight of the opening of Veterans High School in the fall, and, more immediately, dealing with budget cuts that will likely lead to staff layoffs and program reductions.

Carpenter described the process as “bittersweet.”

“I’m excited about moving on to the next phase of my life ... but there’s still a lot of challenges in this time with the budget and things. I’d like to stay and get through that,” Carpenter said. “At the same time, the board of education will make the decision that’s best for the school system.”

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.