Search begins for new school superintendent

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - Members of the Breathitt County Board of Education have started the process of finding a permanent replacement for the superintendent who resigned after pleading guilty to vote-buying charges.

The board has decided to hire a superintendent search consultant to help them find Arch Turner's replacement. A state audit recently found turner mismanaged a significant amount of school funding.

Late last week, Breathitt County Interim Superintendent Melanie Stevens was suspended with pay. WYMT still does not know why.

“Anytime you are hiring the new leader of the school district, you can run into difficulties,” said Superintendent Search Consultant Mike Oder of the Kentucky School Boards Association.
“There's a lot of i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed and if you are not familiar with those, you can have a misstep from time to time.”

The board has chosen another interim superintendent, Larry Woods, but they are beginning the process of finding a permanent replacement with the help of a consultant.

Woods was not present at the meeting. Oder said his consulting was not something that was mandatory, but it was a common practice for some districts across the commonwealth.

“Lots of school districts do that, it gets them an impartial third party, gives someone who, this is what they do is search for a superintendent,” said Oder.
“There is a lot that goes into it.”

Oder said it is a complex process and every district is unique.

“From my standpoint, we have a process that we follow and we will follow that process and make sure that Breathitt County gets the kind of superintendent that the children of this school district deserve,” said Oder.

Board members did not want to talk on camera.

Oder said the game plan could change, depending on the outcome of next week's election.

Oder will return after the first of the year to come up with a plan for selecting a screening committee to choose the next superintendent.

The screening committee will be made up of six members and they will choose the number of applicants the board sees. First, the board must choose a number they wish to see. The chosen number at the meeting was between five and seven, but that could change if new members are elected for next year.

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