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Criteria set for superintendent search
by Jay Lamm
LOUISBURG — Alaska? New Jersey? Or maybe England?
The new superintendent of Franklin County Schools could come from anywhere in the country or the world, according to Allison Schafer, the head of the recently-approved search team from the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA).
The Board of Education unanimously agreed in its June 27 meeting to let the NCSBA’s legal department handle the details of the search at an estimated cost of $20,000. The search is prompted by Dr. Eddie Ingram’s recent retirement and move to be the superintendent of the Darlington County district in South Carolina.
Schafer offered a timeline that has a new superintendent selected by November and in place beginning January 2014.
Filling in as acting superintendent until an interim is named is current Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Tommy Piper.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve as acting superintendent during this transition period of leadership for Franklin County Schools,” Piper said. “As always the focus will be safe and orderly schools, and high academic performance for all students.”
Piper is a Franklin County native and has been employed with Franklin County Schools since the merger of Franklinton City and Franklin County school systems in 1994.
Up to the merger, Piper was employed by Franklinton City Schools beginning in 1978 as a teacher, assistant principal and then assistant superintendent.
The search begins
There will be a specially called board meeting July 11, 7 p.m., to discuss superintendent search documents. The meeting will then go into closed session regarding personnel, public relations director Joe Baisley said.
There will be an additional specially called board meeting July 15, 4 p.m., to go directly into closed session regarding personnel, he said.
For the last two superintendent searches, the board has let its attorney — Boyd Sturges — along with his law firm Davis, Sturges and Tomlinson head up the process.
The last search, which ended in the hiring of Ingram, cost about $4,200, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Doug Moore said.
The board agreed that the NCSBA group will offer a broader range of candidates and can use its connections with other school districts within North Carolina and out of state to match strong candidates with a specific profile to be detailed by the board.
The NCSBA search effort will be based on cost only, Schafer said.
“We find our charges are significantly lower than what you would pay for searches conducted by private search firms,” she said.
Schafer stressed that the final decision rests with the school board members.
“We will give you the tools on how to make the decision. We will try to make it as easy as possible,” she said.
The board also approved the 2013-14 federal Title I application for low-income students at $1.86 million. More than 60 percent of the 8,700 students in the school system are at or below federal poverty levels.
Laurel Mill and Louisburg elementary schools are at 81.21 percent and 81.17 percent, respectively, Title I Director Linda Frederickson said.