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Superintendent search deadline Monday

The search for a new Brookhaven School District superintendentis moving forward, with Monday being the postmark deadline forapplications.

The school district has been looking for a new superintendent aftercurrent Superintendent Lea Barrett announced her retirement inAugust.

“Certainly, Mrs. Barrett has done a good job,” said Carl Aycock,board of trustees vice-chairman. “It’ll be hard to fill hershoes.”

Barrett, who is serving in her seventh year as superintendent, saidthe board has received roughly 12 applications and several callsfrom sitting superintendents. She believes the community has helpedgenerate attention for the open position.

“I think there has been some strong interest from across the state,and I think that means Brookhaven is a great place to live andwork,” said Barrett.

After Wednesday, Aycock said the board of trustees will look overapplications individually and prioritize the submissions in theirseparate ways.

After a few days, the board will meet together and begin theprocess of elimination, Aycock said.

Aycock said the board is looking for someone with relativeexperience, a good track record and high integrity.

“Our first priority is the academic performance of the schooldistrict,” said Aycock. “We are looking for someone who has abackground in academic achievement.”

Barrett also commented on the qualities she thought make for a goodsuperintendent. She believes a first-class superintendent wouldneed to have a love for children, stay informed about the laws andregulations of the school district and have a good understanding ofthe learning process.

Aycock expects the board will interview roughly five applicants inDecember, but that number will fluctuate based on the number ofapplications the board receives. He is hopeful the board will beable to find a suitable replacement.

“We have a well-represented school district throughout the state,”said Aycock. “We feel there will be some strong candidates thatwill want to come to Brookhaven.”

The board is also looking to replace Assistant Superintendent JamesTillman after 42 years in education. Tillman announced hisretirement along with Barrett in August.

Barrett said she will be able to step down from her role when thetime best fits the future superintendent and the board.

“If they’re able to work in February, I can live with that,” saidBarrett.

Barrett also said she has confidence in whatever process the boardtakes and that they will keep the best interest of the children inmind.

“I know this board is going to hire somebody wonderful and that’sexactly what I want for this district,” said Barrett. “I’ll alwaysbe a Panther.”