School board starts super search

Article Published: Sep. 22, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 22, 2011
School board starts super search

Watauga County Schools superintendent Marty Hemric announced this month that he accepted the position of superintendent for Wilkes County Schools. He's scheduled to assume his duties in Wilkes in January 2012.

File photo

The Watauga County Board of Education held its first of many meetings last Wednesday on the path toward finding someone to lead the school system.

Superintendent Marty Hemric announced this month that he would take the superintendent post at Wilkes County Schools on Jan. 1.

Although no votes were cast, the majority of board members expressed doubt that the highest quality applicants could be found midyear and said they preferred to select an interim to allow time for a fuller search.

Several board members also opposed hiring a search organization to assist with the process despite knowledge that a group of community members had contacted the Watauga Education Foundation about possibly raising money for that expense.

Among the most basic questions before the board was whether to select an interim superintendent or proceed with haste on the search.

Board member Lee Warren was the first to share his opinion, saying it was not considerate for Hemric to resign at this time and that he thought the applicant pool would be shallower in the middle of a school year.

Members Steve Combs and Delora Hodges also expressed a desire to go with an interim.

The board also discussed whether to start the task on its own or to hire the services of the N.C. School Boards Association, education attorney Chris Campbell of Asheville or another “head-hunting” service.

Chairwoman Deborah Miller said the association’s rate for professional search assistance starts at $10,000 and would include tasks like posting a job description, collecting applications and handling communication with applicants.

Miller noted that several people had already contacted her and other board members with interest in the position

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