School Board Holds Closed Meeting To Interview Superintendent Candidates

fayetteville high school

The Fayetteville School Board on Tuesday night interviewed two more candidates for the school district’s open superintendent position, bringing the total number of applicants interviewed to four.

Board members held a special meeting at 5 p.m. to interview applicants Doug Powers and Matt Saferite. Powers is the superintendent of Maize Public Schools in Kansas, and Saferite has been the principal at Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville since 2006, according to the candidates’ résumés.

Saferite is the only local applicant for the job.

The interviews with the candidates are closed to the public, but School Board President Tim Hudson is scheduled to update the district Thursday on the progress of the superintendent search.

Powers and Saferite are the third and fourth candidates interviewed for the position that opened up when Supt. Vicki Thomas announced her resignation in January from the Fayetteville School District, effective June 30 at the end of her contract period. Cabot superintendent Tony Thurman was interviewed March 31 by the School Board, and Tom Kimbrell was interviewed Jan. 30.

Kimbrell, the state Department of Education commissioner, later withdrew himself from consideration for the job, saying he and his family instead wanted to stay in central Arkansas.

Thomas said she is moving to Texas to care for an ill family member.

Seventeen candidates applied for the superintendent job by the deadline set for the end of March. The candidates include nine superintendents, four of whom are from Arkansas school districts. These applicants are Thurman, Randy Willison from the Batesville, Robert Ross from Mansfield and Denny Rozenberg from Bearden.

The other five superintendents applying for the job include Robert Hill from the Arizona State Schools For The Deaf And Blind in Tucson, Ariz., Larrie Reynolds from Mount Olive Township, N.J., Eric David Ely, former superintendent for Southbridge, Mass., and David Copeland from Madison County, Ala., according to the list of applicants released by the school district.

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.

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