The Search for the New Knox County Schools Superintendent Begins

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Knoxville (WVLT) - You could have a say in who'll be the next leader of Knox County Schools. The school board began the search for a new superintendent Monday afternoon.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy was there.

For the first time, board members discussed just how the process will go with Ray and Associates. That's the company that'll do the searching, but before the search begins, it needs to know who exactly they're looking for. That starts with you.

It's impact will reach beyond school hallways.

"It's probably the most important decision being made in Knox County this year," school board chair Karen Carson said.

The search is on for Knox County Schools' next Superintendent.

"You want a super-superintendent. The characteristics sound like the Boy Scouts: honest, trustworthy, integrity, great communicator, "Carson said.

The School Board met with the search-firm Ray and Associates Monday afternoon.

"Ray and Associate's role is to advertise. Get the word out. To screen candidates," Carson said.

In a state, regional, nationwide job-man hunt.

"Our roles to meet with stakeholder groups to help the board build a profile," said Gary Ray of Ray and Associates.

Based on 32 key characteristics.

"We have a survey we'll have people fill out," Ray said.

Rays says teachers, faculty, staff and you will have input.

"That's an extremely important part of this process because someone could be an outstanding superintendent in one part of the state or country, but they might not meet this profile," Ray said.

The board bought out former superintendent Charles Lindsey's contract this past February.

"The board didn't have a desire to have a superintendent in a lame duck position," Carson said.

Roy Mullins has served as Interim Superintendent. The board got still-in-progress search timetable today.

"I think it's important to have benchmarks," Carson said.

It has Ray and Associates completing the profile survey later this month. The deadline for all applications is in February and interviews would begin in March.

"There's going to be some concerns from candidates about confidentiality," Ray said.

That's because Tennessee's Sunshine Law says public business decisions can't be made in secret. Ray says similar laws in other states have scared some candidates away from other jobs.

"We need to be willing to do the work to make sure we get the right candidate," Carson said.

So your student's ready for what's outside the classroom.

Right now, Ray and associates is scheduled to meet with stakeholders on Tuesday, November 27th, but that date is not final. The board's still deciding the exact date.
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