Representatives from the Mississippi School Board Association will be in town for several stakeholder meetings that will guide the search for Tupelo’s superintendent. The MSBA is conducting that search to replace Randy Shaver, who last April was granted an early release from the final two years of his contract.
Town meetings with community stakeholders will be held Monday and Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Monday’s meeting is at Tupelo Middle School’s Civic Auditorium, and Tuesday’s is at Tupelo High School’s Performing Arts Center.
Both meetings will have open microphones for people to express the traits they believe are important for the next superintendent.
“I am hoping they will be specific about what they want the school board and search consultant to look for in a new leader,” said MSBA Executive Director Mike Waldrop.
The MSBA also will hold focus groups with other various groups, such as business and community leaders, principals, teachers, parents, former board members and clergy.
It will then compile the feedback it receives into a report for the board. That will be used to develop a profile to be included in the advertisement for the open position. The MSBA will use that profile as it interviews candidates. It will present a list of finalists to the Tupelo school board.
“We want to get information from the community and all stakeholders about the qualities and expectations they expect in the next leader of the school district,” said Tupelo School Board Vice President Eddie Prather. “We want to make sure we are on the same page about the skill set and the vision for the district and the values that person will be bringing to our community.”
Community members also can fill out a survey about their vision for the school district’s new superintendent. That survey is available on the district website, www.tupeloschools.com. Click on “Superintendent search” on the left side of the page and the follow the link that says “click here” to take the survey.
Prather said the board has not set a firm timetable for the search and wants to make sure it gets the right person for the job, even if that means having to take a step back at some point during the process.
Ideally, Prather said, the board would like to have the next superintendent ready to start the 2012-13 school year. He said the board would not want to insert the next superintendent during the current school year and disrupt the foundation laid by Interim Superintendent David Meadows.