Superintendent search will begin this week

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Demopolis city school system, which has been operating under interim superintendent Dr. Neil Hyche’s leadership for all of this academic year, Tuesday night took the first step in permanently filling its highest leadership position.

The board of education voted to contact every school system in the state of Alabama via letter, announcing the vacancy and their seeking of candidates.

Hyche said the opening would then be passed on to state principal and superintendent associations in Alabama before being passed to similar organizations in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

“What we’ve decided to do is to comb the Southeast,” Hyche said. “We want to seek out the most qualified and the most desirable candidates and not limit ourselves to the state of Alabama.”

Letters could be mailed as early as today.

The application period, Hyche said, would last until March 1, after which time a screening process will begin. Hyche said he would assemble a panel of three sitting superintendents from school districts comparable in size to Demopolis. The panel would review each applicant and their qualifications to develop a list of finalists.

Hyche added that the board would then determine which or how many of the finalists to call in for an interview, adding it was unlikely that a hire would be made before the end of the school year.

“Most superintendents and principals are under contract June 30,” he said. “They can be released early but we shouldn’t expect that because that doesn’t always happen.”

The board is charged with replacing Dr. L. Wayne Vickers, who resigned as Demopolis superintendent to take the same position with the Saraland system in June of last year.