UPDATE: School district to vote on superintendent finalist Tuesday

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 3, 2013 

The Muscogee County School District will hold a press conference Tuesday in hopes of introducing a superintendent finalist, it announced Wednesday evening.

A called board meeting will be held at noon at the Muscogee County Public Education Center. Board chairman Rob Varner of District 5 said the board plans to convene the meeting to take a public vote on making an undisclosed candidate the finalist. State law requires the finalist to be disclosed at least 14 days before the board votes to hire the candidate.

The press conference will be held 15 minutes later in the foyer of the center.

The release says "the purpose of the meeting is for the Board to take action to determine the person(s) it deems best qualified to serve in the position of Superintendent of Education."

Varner said the finalist is one of the two undisclosed candidates the board interviewed June 21 in Atlanta. He declined to reveal anything about the finalist Wednesday night, but he added that the finalist will attend Tuesday’s news conference and be available to the media for questions.

Asked whether he expects the nine-member board to unanimously approve the candidate as the finalist, Varner said, “I’m very hopeful it will be.”

It’s been 16 months since Susan Andrews, the first female superintendent in MCSD’s history, announced her retirement.

“We said from the very beginning that we wanted to find the very best person to move our school district forward, and I think we’ve found that person,” Varner said. “Some might have been frustrated by the length (of the search) and we might have been too, but good things come to those who wait.”

The board has interviewed seven candidates, including an undisclosed black male April 28 in Atlanta. He would have been the first black superintendent in MCSD’s history, and the board unanimously agreed to pursue hiring him, but he turned down the opportunity. Board members have said they don’t know why.

Interim superintendent John Phillips Jr. has been serving in that capacity since July 2012.

Varner said last week neither of the candidates interviewed June 21 were a finalist at that time. The June 25 meeting was held to delve further into the answers of the questions posed to the candidates in Atlanta, he added.

At the last meeting, Varner described them as "two quality candidates."

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