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Superintendent subject of Tuesday school forum

Residents of the Brookhaven School District can participate inthe selection process for a new superintendent Tuesday at a publicforum to discuss the district’s needs.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. in the Brookhaven High Schoolauditorium.

“We want to know what the parents and taxpayers perceive asqualities and criteria that the new superintendent should have,”said Dr. Prentiss Smith, chairman of the district’s board oftrustees.

A new superintendent is expected to be hired by September toreplace Dr. Sam Bounds, who has accepted the position of executivedirector of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents.He will assume that position June 1.

Board members will be present to introduce representatives fromthe search firm hired to assist in the hiring process. The searchteam members will talk freely with the community to get as much atrue opinion as possible, Smith said.

“It will be the school board that will choose thesuperintendent. The search firm is a tool to help us screen througha large number of candidates,” said Smith.

He said the firm was known as “one of the best search firms inthe South.”

The opinions and concerns expressed Tuesday, along withdiscussions with administrators and teachers in the district, willhelp the firm choose candidates that best meet the needs of theBrookhaven School District, Smith said.

“We’re trying to be very open with the community and geteverybody involved,” said Smith. “We’re trying to get the bestperson for the job, the one that’s best suited for the schooldistrict and our community.”

Smith said the board hopes to be able to hire a superintendentwho will do “as good a job as Dr. Bounds” and stay with thedistrict for as long a time. Bounds has served the district for 10years.

The search firm has already reported to the board that there isa good pool of candidates. The information gathered Tuesday willallow the firm to narrow the candidate list, said Smith.

Smith believes the large number of candidates can be attributedto the success and reputation of the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict.

“We’re fortunate that our school system has no big problems orissues,” he said.