• 84°

Lincoln County School Board hires help to find leader

Members of the Lincoln County School Board agreed unanimously Tuesday that they will need help finding a suitable superintendent to appoint in January.

They voted to hire the Mississippi School Board Association at a cost of $10,500 plus expenses to narrow the field down to three to five applicants that the board will then interview before making a selection.

To earn its pay, the MSBA will advertise the position, conduct interviews, hold town hall meetings and survey community shareholders, parents and school district administrators, staff and board members.

“I was thinking about the impact this is going to have, not only the here and now, but potentially the next several years. It’s an investment that I think that we need to make to do the best possible way,” said District 1 Board Trustee Justin Laird. “The experience that we’re paying for and the time that we’re paying for from the Mississippi School Board Association is well worth the money in order to make sure this is done right.”

A 2016 law changed all public school district superintendents to appointees. At the time, 55 of the state’s 144 school districts elected their superintendents. The new law requires school boards to appoint superintendents after their current terms end. For Lincoln County, that’s Dec. 31.

MSBA offered two other packages for $4,000 and $2,500, but with fewer services offered. Neither of the less expensive packages offered MSBA interviews with applicants, which was something trustees wanted for sure.

Laird said he did not believe the board is qualified to conduct the search and MSBA will narrow down the field for the board.

District 5 Board Trustee Timothy Cunningham said the board has “strongly encouraged” current Superintendent Mickey Myers to apply for the position.

Cunningham explained the board wanted to be transparent in the process, especially since four of the trustees were recently elected to the five-member board.

Myers has not decided if he will apply for the position. The 58-year-old has said he would consider staying on as superintendent on a six-month contract when his elected four-year term is up at the end of the year, which would allow the board to appoint someone to start in the summer rather than in the middle of a school year.

Other business

In other business Tuesday night, the board met briefly in executive session to discuss personnel. Following the closed-door meeting, trustees voted unanimously to hire James “Trey” Woodard as a teacher and high school football coach at Enterprise Attendance Center for the 2019-2020 school year.