School search ending soon

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo’s school board has finished a second round of interviews with the three finalists for its superintendent job, and a decision could come as soon as this week.
The board is deliberating on those interviews, board president Amy Heyer said. It will make a decision based upon the input it received from community stakeholder meetings held last September, she said.
Tupelo’s three finalists included two Mississippi candidates and one from outside the state. A report in the Florence, Ala., Times Daily newspaper identified Muscle Shoals (Ala.) superintendent Jeff Wooten as one of the finalists.
The board did not release the names of the finalists because it promised the candidates confidentiality, Heyer said.
Meanwhile, Oxford’s school board also will name its new superintendent soon. The board interviewed five finalists last week and met Saturday to discuss its next steps, including possibly calling candidates for a second round of interviews. The new Oxford superintendent is expected to be named by March.
Tupelo’s new superintendent will replace Randy Shaver, who was given an early release from his contract in April after an unpopular decision to replace a high school principal led to community unrest. David Meadows has been serving as interim superintendent but did not seek the full-time job.
Twenty-one candidates applied for the job, and the board narrowed that list down to seven leaders that it interviewed earlier this month. It then chose three finalists for a second interview.
Oxford’s next superintendent will replace Kim Stasny, who died of a brain tumor last May. Brian Harvey has been serving as the interim superintendent.
Eighteen candidates applied for the job, although one withdrew and two did not meet the administrative requirements. Applicants included four superintendents, one interim superintendent, three former superintendents, one assistant superintendent, three school principals, two consultants and a director of career and technical center.
Eleven applicants were from Mississippi, with one from Alabama, one from Georgia, one from Florida, and one from Massachusetts.
Wooten also was identified as one of Oxford’s five finalists by the same newspaper report.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com