June 14, 2014 10:51:33 PM
The Columbus Municipal School Board is releasing little information about its search for a new superintendent with less than three weeks before its self-imposed deadline to make its choice.
School board members held a special meeting Thursday morning to review applications for the superintendent position. The board immediately went into closed determination for executive session.
When board president Angela Verdell was asked for details on the potential candidates Thursday, she deferred, stating that a press release would provide more details.
A press release released Friday stated "nearly 60 applicants from 24 states submitted completed packets for the position by the May 30, 2014, deadline."
In the release, Verdell said, "Ray and Associates reviewed each application and selected a qualified group for a more thorough investigation conducted by the Board. Board members viewed candidates' interviews and assessed application packets. We conducted a screening process, and by consensus, agreed upon candidates we would like to interview face to face."
The press release said the selection process "will continue until a board selects its next superintendent."
During a special meeting to discuss the district's budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year Friday morning, board members unanimously approved to pay the travel expenses of applicants who will be coming to Columbus to be interviewed. Travel expenses include meals for the applicant and spouse.
When reached by email Friday afternoon, Verdell declined to release any further information about the search process, including whether the public will have an opportunity hear from the candidates, how many candidates will be interviewed or when those interviews will be held.
Verdell also declined to say if the board is still hoping to have a superintendent in place by July 1, as the board has previously stated.
"The only information that the board has authorized to be shared is what was provided via the press release," Verdell said via email. "I am not at liberty to share anything more. As the process moves along, the board will continue to share information with the public."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. Supervisor responds to public criticism by taking polygraph STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
2. Columbus woman charged with embezzlement for allegedly stealing from cash register COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. 30-plus employers to recruit at job fair COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY