By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The search for Tupelo’s next school superintendent is down to three finalists.
Board members recently completed interviews of seven candidates and have narrowed the list to two Mississippi candidates and one from outside the state.
Board President Amy Heyer said the board is still keeping their names confidential because candidates have said they would withdraw if they were revealed at this point of the search.
“We want to ensure that all candidates remain in the pool,” she said.
The board will meet in executive session today at 4:30 p.m. at the central office to discuss questions for the second round of interviews.
School Board Vice President Eddie Prather, who has overseen the search process, said the board still hopes to announce its selection by early March. David Meadows has been serving as interim superintendent since Randy Shaver was given an early release from his contract last April.
Heyer said candidates were evaluated based on the criteria established during stakeholder meetings held by the Mississippi School Board Association in September.
The MSBA, which conducted the initial phases of the search, met with 10 diverse groups, including business leaders, community members, clergy, teachers and former school board members.
Twenty-one candidates applied for the job, and the MSBA presented a profile on each to Tupelo’s board, which narrowed that list down to the seven candidates it initially interviewed.
The school district’s advertisement for the job called for a proven track record as an instructional leader, an ability to work with diverse groups and a strong background in school finance.
It also called for someone who is knowledgeable of current educational issues, a consensus builder and a good communicator.