Public input sought on superintendent

Published 12:03 am Saturday, October 29, 2011

NATCHEZ — Tuesday at 6 p.m. is the time for residents with vision for the future of the Natchez-Adams public schools to toss in their two cents about the district’s top hire.

A stakeholders meeting at Braden Administrative Building hosted by the Mississippi School Board Association will ask the public what kind of person they want to lead the Natchez-Adams School District as its newest superintendent.

The district hired MSBA to conduct the search for a new superintendent. MSBA has been performing superintendent searches as a service to school districts for approximately 10 years, MSBA Executive Director Michael Waldrop said.

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Waldrop said it is only fair to include the public in the search process for the leader of the public schools.

No school board members will be present in order to stay on topic, he said, noting public comments are more likely to stray to other school-related topics when board members are present.

“The purpose of the meeting is one fold, to get the public’s input on what they think profile of characteristics of next superintendent in Natchez should be if (he or she) is to be successful,” Waldrop said.

Whether it is a proven track record of raising test scores or experience working well with governments, Waldrop said for example, those kinds of qualities the public wants in a superintendent will be considered when drafting an application.

Additionally, MSBA will report the findings of the stakeholders meeting to deliver to the board for their consideration.

Harold Fisher, a consultant with MSBA, will lead the meeting.

Fisher said he will also host a stakeholders meeting Tuesday afternoon for school administrators and a meeting for any teachers and staff who would like to provide input.

Waldrop said MSBA superintendent searches last an average of two or three months from the time the position is advertised to the time it is filled.

Natchez-Adams County is not alone in its quest for a new leader, Waldrop said.

“This is an exceptionally high year for superintendent turnover,” he said.

Of the 151 school districts in the state, approximately 22 appointed superintendents vacated their positions this year, Waldrop said.