Fayetteville Gets First Local Superintendent Candidate After 17 Apply

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As the deadline passed this week to apply for the Fayetteville superintendent job, 17 applicants had submitted their resumes to the School Board.

The Fayetteville School District last month revealed a crop of eight superintendent applicants from across the country. Nine more candidates have applied for the job since then, including the first local candidate.

Matt Saferite was among the latest group of applicants. He has been principal of Fayetteville’s Ramay Junior High School since 2006, according to his resume.

The other candidates who applied include nine superintendents, four of whom are from Arkansas school districts. These applicants are Randy Willison from the Batesville, Robert Ross from Mansfield, Denny Rozenberg from Bearden and Tony Thurman from Cabot.

Thurman was interviewed by Fayetteville School Board members for the superintendent job on Monday, which was the deadline for candidates to apply. Thurman is just the second applicant who has been interviewed for the position. Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell was interviewed earlier this year for the job, but he pulled himself from consideration after deciding to stay in central Arkansas.

The other five superintendents applying for the job are Robert Hill from the Arizona State Schools For The Deaf And Blind in Tucson, Ariz., Larrie Reynolds from Mount Olive Township, N.J., Doug Powers from Maize, Kan., Eric David Ely, former superintendent for Southbridge, Mass., and David Copeland from Madison County, Ala.

The remaining seven candidates include John Stanford, deputy superintendent for Columbus City Schools in Ohio; David Hurst, education accreditation officer in Arizona and former professor in various states; Eric Nerison, principal for Langley Middle School in Washington; Chanel Howard-Veazy, principal of Lincoln High School in Dallas, Tex.; Debra Fountain, principal substitute at Hancock County School District in Kiln, Miss.; Robert Rodriguez, assistant superintendent at East Ramapo Central School District in New York; and Greg Rockhold, principal of Tse’ Bit’ Ai Middle School in Shiprock, N.M.

Supt. Vicki Thomas announced her retirement from the Fayetteville School District in January. Her resignation is effective at the end of her contract, June 30. Thomas said she is moving to Texas to care for an ill family member.