Screening committee set to begin reviewing applicants for superintendent

KSBA consultant and Board members engage in discussion during the special called work session on March 29.

The applications are in and the process of selecting the next superintendent of the Knox County Public Schools is underway.

The first meeting between the Knox County Board of Education and the superintendent screening committee took place on Monday evening, March 29.  It was during the meeting that the Board set out the duties and charge of the screening committee as they take a first look at the applicants.

Members of the Board of Education and KSBA consultant

Board chairman Dr. Thomas Ashburn started the meeting by addressing members of the committee.  He touched on the importance of confidentiality, even between spouses and close family.

“The more that people have the freedom to discuss the candidates and know it’s not going out of that room, the better decisions you can make and better decisions as a group we can make later on,” said Ashburn. “The more candid you can be with your discussions the better you can narrow things down.”

Tim Eaton, a consultant for the Kentucky School Boards Association which is handling the search process, then facilitated a discussion between the Board and committee.  He shared with both that Knox County received 15 complete applications for the position and one application was deemed incomplete.  Of the 15, they include candidates both inside and outside of Kentucky and varying roles of leadership at the district and school level.

The Board requested that five applicants be brought to them from the screening committee once they finish their work.  The applications will be in alphabetical order by last name, not by ranking.  The committee will turn over all applications to the Board by May 4 with the five recommendations noted.  The full Board will not get to see the applicant names nor their application until the screening committee completes their work.

The chairman then shared with the committee the desired characteristics and knowledge that they should be looking for when reviewing each application and conducting reference checks.  Those criteria include:

  • an innovative and motivational leader with strong proven leadership, with a record of improving student achievement;
  • have administrative experience and be an instructional leader who is committed to college and career readiness;
  • ability to effectively communicate with the school board, staff and community during this pandemic to achieve district goals;
  • involved and visible in the community as well as having a record that reflects strong morals and ethics;
  • and knowledge in budgeting, school finances, buildings and grounds, along with knowledge of the Kentucky education system are required.

Once the criteria and duties were set, the Board adjourned their portion of the meeting which allowed the screening committee to enter into a closed session to begin discussion of the applicants.

Additional meetings of the screening committee are set for April 12 and April 26 before the May 4 deadline to meet with the Board and present their recommendations.