Stephens Co. BOE Starts Superintendent Search Process

The Stephens County Board of Education is starting the process of hiring a new School Superintendent.

Thursday, the Board of Education voted 6 to 1 to hire King, Cooper, and Associates based out of Thomaston, Georgia to help the board with the search process to replace Sherrie Whiten, who is retiring at the end of March.

Jeff Webb was the lone “no” vote on the motion to hire King, Cooper, and Associates.

The school system will pay King, Cooper, and Associates $5,500 to help in the search and a maximum of $250 in postage and printing.

Sandy Addis with King, Cooper, and Associates spoke to the school board Thursday after his firm was chosen.

He said that his firm’s job is to help the board through the search process, not run it altogether.

“This is your search, not ours,” said Addis.  “We work for you, not the other way around.  Our job is to make sure you get the best people to consider so you can make the best choice and you are satisfied with your choice.”

Addis presented the Board of Education with a preliminary timeline for naming a new superintendent by Whiten’s retirement at the end of March.

He said that timeline will require the system and his firm to get started right away.

“It is a tight timeline,” said Addis.  “However, it can work.”

Addis said they will immediately move to post the superintendent’s position online at the school system website, as well as the websites of the Georgia School Board Association and the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association.

Also, Addis said they would put out a mailing about the opening to all of the school systems in Georgia and some other groups as well.

Then through the months of January and February, Addis says he would work with the Board of Education to prepare them for interviewing candidates and determining what they are looking for in a superintendent.

During that time, he also said the school system should seek input from the community and employees through a survey.

The timeline presented Thursday calls for interviews at the end of February or beginning of March, with the board announcing finalists sometime in March and waiting 14 days as required, then naming a new superintendent.

Addis said the goal is to make sure the Board of Education finds the best fit for the job.

“Most people say the most important decision a board makes is selection of a superintendent,” said Addis.  “It can make or break everything, and you want it to make everything right.”

Addis did caution that while the school system would name a new superintendent by the end of March under the proposed timeline, depending on that eventual nominee’s current job situation, they may not be able to start right away.