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Superintendent search now in interviews

POSTED: March 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Liberty County Board of Education has stopped sifting through applications and moved to the next phase in its search for a superintendent.
Harley Grove has been acting superintendent since Dr. Steve Wilmoth resigned last June.
The board completed the first round of interviews with prospects on Feb. 19. According to an article in the Orlando-Sentinel on Feb. 9, one of the interviewees was Dr. Eric Williams, Collier County interim superintendent.
Williams, representing a Florida district with an estimated 42,000 students, has Liberty's 10,700-student school system as one of the three superintendent positions he is applying for.
Florida School Board Association Executive Director Dr. Wayne Blanton confirmed Williams is being considered in two other superintendent searches; one in Kentucky and the other in Lake County, Fla.
"I've talked with one of the board members down there (Liberty County) and he said he interviewed very well," Blanton said. "He (a Liberty BoE member) said he liked what he heard, but that doesn't mean he doesn't like what he heard from other interviews, either."
Blanton believes whatever district decides to hire Williams will be well served.
"I think he's going to be an aggressive, young superintendent," Blanton said, based on Williams' performance as interim.
Blanton said his 33 years with school boards has conditioned him to easily spot leadership potential.
"I think he's got what it takes to be a top-notch superintendent."
Liberty's BoE has kept details of interviews private.
Interim superintendent Harley Grove said the board will "give updates or make statements at their discretion and in accordance with Georgia law."
Bill Sampson from the Georgia School Board Association said he thinks the search is "very high priority for them," and "the board is being very careful."
"It's not any attempt to shut out the public," he explained. "When we do a search we guarantee the applicant confidentiality."
Sampson explained that the GSBA has no part in the decision and basically works for the board, contacting applicants and scheduling their interviews.
"They (local school boards) determine what information they're going to disclose," Sampson explained. "But Georgia law requires before they can name a superintendent they have to name a finalist."
Grove has continued to report, "No finalists have been named in this search at this time."
Sampson said the board stopped accepting applications Dec. 31 to focus on interviews.
"We really stress that all board members take part in the interview process," Sampson said.
He explained that keeping all the board members part of the process involves working around different schedules.
Conducting interviews "doesn't mean that the board is locked into hiring," Sampson said. "They may decide to have other interviews."
"The interviews are important but it's hard for me to say how close they are (to a decision)," Sampson said.
In the meantime, Blanton from FSBA said Williams will know in a couple weeks if he was hired in Lake County.

 

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