July 3, 2014 11:43:49 AM
The board members of the Columbus Municipal School District emerged from a five-and-a-half-hour executive session Wednesday without making a decision on who to hire as the district's schools superintendent.
The board held a specially called meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday and immediately went into executive session. Board members interviewed Dr. David Fonseca first, followed by an interview with Dr. Phillip Hickman. Both interviews lasted approximately one hour.
The board then met with representatives from the search firm Ray and Associates.
After several hours, the board emerged just after 1:30 p.m. Board president Angela Verdell announced the board took no action. A new meeting date has not yet been set.
Fonseca and Hickman are the two finalists for the superintendent's position. The candidates were introduced to the public Tuesday night at Joe Cook auditorium, where they fielded questions from the audience. Each candidate highlighted their successes and stressed the importance of educating the whole child. Each candidate also professed the need for arts in the classroom as well as sports. Fonseca is a classically trained pianist while Hickman is a former football player.
Fonseca is currently the interim superintendent of Watauga County Schools in Boone, North Carolina.
Hickman is the assistant superintendent of academic support services in Houston, Texas.
The permanent superintendent position has been open since June 2013 when the board voted to terminate superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell after it was learned she had used district funds for private use. Edna McGill has been serving as interim superintendent since Liddell's firing. McGill was one of the applicants for the permanent position but was not chosen as a finalist.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
2. Last two antebellum homes in Starkville for sale; one could be torn down STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Suspect arrested in armed robbery, kidnapping case COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. MDOT unveils Highway 82 interchange improvements COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY