School Board Sets Deadline For Superintendent Applicants

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Fayetteville School Board members decided in a special meeting Thursday night to set March 31 as the deadline for candidates to apply for the superintendent job.

More than a month after Supt. Vicki Thomas announced her retirement, the school district has no applicants for the job.

Board members also discussed whether to hire a national search firm to find candidates for the job, although they made no decision regarding a search firm, said Alan Wilbourn, school district spokesman.

The Fayetteville School District has received one applicant for the superintendent position, state education commissioner Tom Kimbrell, who later removed himself from consideration, saying he instead wanted to stay in central Arkansas with his family.

Thomas announced in January she would be moving to Texas to care for an ill family member, effective June 30, the end of her contract with the district.

“Once we open the position up and get formal applications, there will be more (applicants),” said board member Susan Heil.

School Board President Tim Hudson told 5NEWS good candidates will surface in the coming months.

“I can’t predict the future, but I anticipate that we will have a number of quality applicants that the board can carefully consider,” he said.

The School Board has developed a position profile of the ideal candidate for the superintendent. Hudson said it’s a set of guidelines to be used during the hiring process.

“The board has looked over those on a couple of occasions during this search process, and to date, I have heard nothing but support for that set of guidelines we are looking for,” he said.

The current profile was developed in 2008 during Thomas’ hiring. And as the board begins the process again, they are encouraging the community to offer input.

“It’s the person that’s going to be running our school district, which touches many lives in Fayetteville,” Heil said. “We need to make sure everybody is on board with what the position will be and who that person will be that we hire.”

Thomas is paid $207,000 a year. Hudson said he expects the new superintendent to receive roughly the same salary.