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New leadership coming to both school districts

Both Lincoln County’s and Brookhaven’s school districts will have a new superintendent to start the next school year.

Brookhaven superintendent Ray Carlock announced his retirement after four years leading the district. His county counterpart Mickey Myers is also retiring.

Lincoln County has been engaged in a search process for months now — a change in state law means the county school board will choose a superintendent as opposed to one being elected.

The board earlier this year gathered input from stakeholders regarding the qualifications and characteristics they want to see in the district’s superintendent.

“This, to me, if it’s not the biggest decision we will make as a board, it’s one of the top three or four at least. This will affect our school system for years to come,” Board President Billy Vaughn said.

The county school board has also contracted with the Mississippi School Board Association to help members find the next superintendent.

The process has been a long one — as it should be — and so far has been open and transparent.  MSBA will help conduct interviews and will narrow the field of candidates for the board.

We encourage the board and MSBA to continue being transparent throughout the process. We also encourage Brookhaven’s school board to tackle the search process with openness and transparency.

Choosing a school leader will be the single-most important decision either board makes. The individuals hired will determine the future of both school districts.

Given that several school boards across the state are currently searching for leaders,  competition among districts will be intense. The change from elected to appointed superintendents has created a supply and demand problem. There are likely more open positions than there are top-tier candidates.

That means both districts will have to be aggressive, yet thorough, in the search process. It won’t be an easy task, and transparency and community involvement could very well lengthen the process. But ensuring both are a priority will result in a better hire and a better school district.