Russell Board to discuss search for super

The Russell County School Board will have a called meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 to discuss the search for a new superintendent.

The board hired an educational consulting firm from Guntersville, Ala., N & P Associates, in August to advertise the search and screen applicants to fill the position vacated by Vivian Carter's death in June.

A representative from the firm told the board they would accept applications until Oct. 12, then screen all the applications and do background checks on the applicants before recommending five candidates for the board to interview.

The search cost the board $6,500, paid for out of the general fund.

N & P Educational Associates has been conducting supertintendent searches in Alabama since 1999. The Opelika City school board hired the firm last year to conduct a superintendent search. Mark Neighbors, former assistant superintendent for the city school district, was eventually named to the position.

The board members voted to hire a search firm after beginning a search for a new superintendent themselves. The board established three finalists, but decided that the process was moving too quickly and voted to reopen the search.

In the original search, one of the candidates listed misleading information on her resume.

Florence Reynolds, of Lithonia, Ga., listed on her resume and application that she was employed as superintendent of Hancock County Schools in Sparta, Ga., from July 2003 until 2006. However, Hancock County School Board meeting minutes state that Reynolds' contract was approved on July 6, 2004. Reynolds' resignation due to health reasons became effective Dec. 14, 2005.

Reynolds and the two other finalists, Jewell Henderson and Maryann Hidle, are eligible to resubmit their applications to the consulting firm for consideration.

The chosen applicant will oversee a school system educating 3,698 students at eight schools: five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one alternative learning center. The system has a budget of $33 million and employs 481 people.