Education

At least 14 in running for Fayette school superintendent

At least 14 applications had been received as of Tuesday afternoon for Fayette County's school superintendent, the county school board's executive search firm reported.

Tom Jacobson, owner and CEO of McPherson & Jacobson LLC in Omaha, Neb., said the list includes applicants from Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Washington state.

No names will be revealed until later in the selection process.

Representatives of Jacobson's firm were still opening applications Tuesday afternoon.

The application period officially closed Monday.

"We're pleased with the numbers, and we're pleased with the variety of the applicants," Jacobson said. "The number still might go up a little bit.

"We'll now get started taking a closer look at the applications. But I think we'll have some really strong candidates in this pool."

Fayette County School Board Chairman John Price said he was pleased applications have been filed from many parts of the country.

"It sounds as though we do have an attractive position here, which I always felt we did have," he said. "The fact that people from out of state are interested says that we have a strong district where people would like to work.

"That number of applicants is also very workable in terms of having the screening committee review the applications," Price added.

The tentative plan is for McPherson & Jacobson to ship the applications to the Fayette Schools' central offices, where they could be in hand by Thursday.

"If we have any stragglers, obviously we'll send those along, too," Jacobson said. "But hopefully we'll have everything to the school system by Thursday morning.

Members of the district's six-member superintendent screening committee will then sift through the filings. Committee members are charged with preparing a list of top applicants, which will be submitted to the county school board.

School board members will select a number of finalists at a meeting on May 31, although they are not required to stick with the committee's recommendations. Finalists' names will be made public at that time. Finalists then will be invited for interviews and meetings with the school board, school district officials, local business and public service organization groups and the general public.

Once those interviews are complete, the board will vote on a successor for outgoing Stu Silberman, who is leaving to head the state's Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

A new superintendent could be named before mid-June, Price said.

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