School Board has spent nearly $60,000 in Superintendent search - WRBL

School Board has spent nearly $60,000 in Superintendent search

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Rob Varner, School Board Chair Rob Varner, School Board Chair
COLUMBUS, GA -

It has been over a year since the last full-time Muscogee County School Superintendent stepped down.

We now know how much the school board has spent on the search so far.

Between the two search firms used in the last year, the school board has spent almost $60,000 trying to find their new superintendent.

The school board interviewed two more candidates for superintendent on Friday. The board will discuss both candidates in a called meeting Tuesday. But, they still don't have any finalists.

Muscogee County Schools have been operating with an interim superintendent for a year. In that time, two search firms have been paid to try to find the next full time superintendent.

 "Our process has been deliberate. It has been longer than anybody thought it would be," said school board chairman Rob Varner. "To say otherwise would be disingenuous." 

The first search firm was McPherson and Jacobson. The school board paid them $41,675.15. Then the board decided to use a different firm.

 So far, they have paid Nelson Mullein Riley (Brock) $17,890.33. And school board chair Rob Varner says they are doing a good job.

"Mr. Brock is doing what we are paying him to do," Varner said. "We were looking Friday. He was showing us a sheet of paper with a number of the people he had contacted or the people that had contacted him. It was over 30."

"Some board members took their second trip to Atlanta on Friday to interview candidates. Varner says they have high expectations, and some board members have questioned such high standards.

"We had some discussion about this, candidly, about criteria," said Varner. "Is it criteria or is it guidance?"

Varner says the standards are guidance that the school district needs. He wants to ensure that the long search doesn't abruptly end with the wrong person for the job.

"It is important that we not jump at a candidate or go into discussions with a prospective candidate simply because there may be some level of frustration," said Varner.

The school board will not place a deadline on the search

Varner tells us that he does not expect a new superintendent to be chosen at Tuesday's meeting.

 He says the board just needs to further discuss the two candidates they met Friday in Atlanta, but, Varner insisted the board has not selected any finalists.

Varner says experience is definitely a requirement. But, the new superintendent must also have elite leadership skills. He says that is a quality that can't be listed on a resume.

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