Houston & Peach

Search for Peach County schools chief gets under way

The search for the next superintendent of Peach County schools is under way.

Peach County is looking for a new superintendent, with Susan Clark stepping down from the post July 1. She has led the school district since 2008.

The district seeks candidates who demonstrate educational administrative experience, fiscal management skills, team-building leadership, an optimistic outlook and data-driven decision-making skills, among other criteria.

Applications for the job are due to the district May 24 at noon, according to an announcement on the Peach County schools’ website.

The board of education will begin interviewing candidates immediately after receiving the applications, but a start date for the new superintendent has not been determined, said board chairman Jamie Johnson.

Among the current board members, Johnson is the only one who has been through the superintendent search process before, he said.

“It’s very detailed,” he said. “You have to give candidates enough time to show their good traits and show their weaknesses. It’s an interesting time.”

Clark publicly announced her intention to retire at a March 29 study session, leaving her post two years before the end of her current contract. When asked about her departure date, she cited various personal reasons in an e-mail response, including the desire to spend more time with family.

Clark’s contract can be terminated in several ways, including “by the resignation of the Superintendent submitted in writing to the board,” according to its terms.

Before the board gave approval of her retirement at the meeting, Johnson read Clark’s resignation letter, outlining highlights of her tenure, including the implementation of the four-day school week without negatively impacting student performance, the opening of two elementary schools and the revamping of Peach County High School through federal School Improvement funds.

“The new superintendent can come in with a new slate,” she said at the March 29 meeting. “You should always leave a place better than you found it.”

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.