TPSD works to fill superintendent slot

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo school board hopes the advertisement seeking applicants for Tupelo’s next school superintendent will be posted by mid-November.
School Board Vice President Eddie Prather said during Tuesday’s meeting the goal was to have the ad ready in time to be distributed during the Mississippi School Board Association’s fall conference on Nov. 14-15. The association is conducting the superintendent search, and Prather is the board’s point person.
Former Superintendent Randy Shaver requested and was given an early release from his contract in April. David Meadows is currently serving as interim superintendent.
Before the job can be posted, the board must compile a list of the qualities it wants in its next leader.
Mike Waldrop, executive director of the MSBA, conducted stakeholder meetings in Tupelo on Sept. 26-27 to gather input about what various school and community groups would like to see. Prather distributed an MSBA report to board members on Tuesday summarizing the findings from those meetings. A copy of that report was not immediately available.
The board will use that information to develop its list so that the advertisement can be created. The MSBA will advertise the position in newspapers, education journals and education websites. It will also create a brochure that it can distribute at events like its fall conference.
The advertisement will likely be live for six weeks, Prather said. Roughly a month after the application deadline, Waldrop will conduct background checks on and interviews of all of the applicants. He will then present a report on all of the candidates to the school board, noting which ones most closely fit the profile it established.
Board members would like to have a list of candidates by January, Prather said. He noted previously that the district would like to have the new leader in place by the beginning of the 2012-13 school year but it did not want to disrupt Meadows’ leadership this year.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com