Beaufort County School Board selects superintendent search firm

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 4, 2012 

Beaufort County School District facilities and construction head Robert Oetting discusses the progress of several construction projects with the Board of Education Tuesday.

RACHEL HEATON, THE ISLAND PACKET

  • Board to repay county for library space

    The school board on Tuesday approved taking $150,000 from capital funds, which are used for repairing and building schools, to pay back a contribution from Beaufort County to build St. Helena Elementary School.

    The repayment is part of a 20-year-old lease that has allowed the county to operate a library at the school. The county plans to move into a new St. Helena Island library by November and terminate the lease.

    Board member Michael Rivers, who represents the St. Helena area, argued that the board should try to negotiate with County Council to eliminate the $150,000 repayment clause.

    Several board members said the original agreement must be honored, and the board ultimately agreed to repay the sum if County Council won't eliminate the clause.

The same search firm that found Beaufort County School District superintendent Valerie Truesdale is back on the job.

The Board of Education voted Tuesday to again hire Ray and Associates, a national firm that specializes in superintendent searches, to assist in the hunt for a new superintendent.

Board member Bill Evans, co-chairman of the superintendent search committee along with board member Laura Bush, said the firm was the best fit because it exclusively handles searches for educators and is nationally known.

The committee interviewed five firms Friday and ultimately decided on Ray and Associates because several committee members had worked with the firm during the 2006 search and felt comfortable with it, Evans said.

The full board agreed to that recommendation unanimously Tuesday. Board member Steven Morello was absent.

The board also approved a $62,500 budget for the search. That amount will include Ray and Associates' $22,000 fee, advertising costs, travel for job candidates and travel for board members to candidates' school districts.

Evans said the district isn't likely to need that much. The last search cost about $34,000, he said.

Evans said he hopes focus groups and online surveys will begin in a few weeks, so the district can start identifying the traits it wants in a new superintendent. Those focus groups could include candidates for school board in the November election, Evans said.

Truesdale announced in July that she has taken a job in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, starting Oct. 1. The Beaufort County district's current head of human resources, Jackie Rosswurm, will serve as interim superintendent.

Related content

  1. School board lowers proposed tax increase, approves superintendent search procedures; Aug. 7, 2012
  2. New board members could play role in Beaufort County school superintendent selection; Aug. 3, 2012
  3. Beaufort County School District names interim superintendent; July 31, 2012
  4. School board to decide how to pay back $150,000 for St. Helena library; Sept. 2, 2012

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