Former Shaw High School principal Jim Arnold a candidate for Muscogee County superintendent

Former Shaw High School principal Jim Arnold confirmed Monday afternoon that he is a candidate to be superintendent of the Muscogee County School District.

In fact, Arnold said, consultant John Smith with the search firm McPherson & Jacobson LLC of Omaha, Neb., told him he is among the applicants the firm will recommend to the board for an interview. The board meets today at 5 p.m. in the Muscogee County Public Education Center on Macon Road to hear the search firm's advice and determine which of the 22 applicants it will interview.

Arnold joins Phenix City Public Schools superintendent Larry DiChiara as the only other confirmed candidate. When asked whether he knows his status, DiChiara said Monday afternoon, "I haven't gotten anything, so we'll just sit tight and see."

Arnold, 60, has been the superintendent of Pelham City Schools in south Georgia for two years. That district has 1,520 students; MCSD has 31,884.

After working 19 years in MCSD, Arnold said he knows the system well, still has a home in Columbus and returns to the area to visit his grandchildren.

"It's home," he said. "I'm familiar with the district, familiar with the good, the bad and the ugly, and I think I can make a difference for kids."