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Interim school superintendent, consultant named

During a special called meeting Friday night, the Brookhaven School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Director of Assessment and Accountability Stephanie Henderson as interim superintendent for the district effective immediately.

Henderson will be filling the position left vacant by former district Superintendent Dr. Lisa Karmacharya until another permanent superintendent is selected.

Board member Pat Lowery explained some determinants behind Henderson’s hiring.

“We have been really impressed with how she’s handled everything we have asked her to do,” he said. “We feel like she has a good grasp on the day-to-day operations in the district, and we are very grateful to her for stepping up and taking on this challenge.”

According to board attorney Bob Allen, Henderson will receive a 15 percent increase on her current $87,125 salary during her term as interim superintendent.

In addition, the board named former Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett to assist as a consultant to Henderson and the board during the interim period.

Barrett will be paid an hourly rate for her consulting services.

“The board wanted to provide somebody that had a familiarity with the procedures concerning the superintendent position,” Barrett said. “I’ll be on call if [Henderson] needs any help.”

As the superintendent from 2004 to 2011, Barrett hired Henderson initially as the director of special education in 2006. Barrett said she developed confidence in Henderson’s ability to execute the tasks required with the position during their time working together.

“I think she’s a wonderful choice,” she said. “I look forward to being of any assistance to her, but I think that she’s highly competent in her own right, and I don’t foresee her needing too much of my help.”

Board members are beginning the process of finding a permanent superintendent with intentions of filling the position before the beginning of the school year.

When asked if Henderson would be considered as a candidate, Lowery responded.

“That has not yet been discussed, but she will be welcomed to apply just like anybody else,” he said.