Board chairwoman Rene Simmons began the session by telling board members that the 12 applicants will be referred to by numbers and not have their names announced publicly due to confidentiality purposes. The board received applications and resumes from in and out of the state; however, board members narrowed the choices down to the top four candidates Tuesday evening.
“There are a lot of good candidates and we certainly appreciate their interest, but with some we don’t want to waste our time if they’re not who we feel is going to take our school system forward,” Simmons said.
Board members then individually marked their top choices, and Simmons tallied the numbers. Once those were chosen, board members then reviewed each of the top picks’ applications and resumes in order to see if he or she met the board’s “wish list” criteria, which consisted of the following areas: someone who holds a doctorate degree, someone who is trustworthy with effective leadership skills, someone who listens and gives good advice on various subjects, proven financial ability, someone who is strong, sound and stable in their former and current jobs, someone who possesses strong instructional leadership, someone who is good at building relationships within the community and wants to boost the community in a positive light and possibly someone who has previous facilities construction experience (which was mentioned in regards to the construction of the new Walker High School).
The candidates’ references will be contacted and thorough background checks will be performed within the week.
Simmons said she will contact the top four candidates today to see if they still have interest in the position.
“Our role as board members, we’re appointed to have the best interest of the students, but we also have a duty and responsibility to keep our school system strong and excellent,” Simmons said. “... But we always want to be better ... We have a huge weight on our shoulders to choose the best person to educate our students.”
The Jasper City Board of Education will hold a meeting today at 6 p.m. to discuss regular business with the possibility of announcing those top candidates.
Tentatively, the board decided to schedule the public interviews with candidates for Monday, July 14.
Any updates on superintendent matters will be discussed during today’s meeting.