Three finalists with fairly close ties to outgoing Superintendent Stu Silberman were selected by the Fayette County Board of Education following a national search. Who could've guessed?
This from Lisa Deffendall at FCPS:
This from Lisa Deffendall at FCPS:
Three Kentucky candidates to compete for schools chief post
Three seated Kentucky superintendents will interview next week to become the next Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent, after beating out applicants that hailed from 10 states.
Vying for the top administrative post in the state’s second largest school district are:
• Elaine Farris, Superintendent of the Clark County Public Schools in Winchester, with a student enrollment of 5,500. “I'm grateful and appreciative of being selected as a finalist and I look forward to the opportunity to meet with community members and to interview with the Fayette County Board of Education.”
• Tom Shelton, Superintendent of the Daviess County Public Schools in Owensboro, with a student enrollment of 11,500. “I was blessed to have the opportunity to work under Mr. Silberman for nine years and then to succeed him for the past seven years in my current district. I now look forward to the possibility of succeeding him again and continuing the great work going on in Lexington/Fayette County, which I think has all the resources and support to have the best school district in the country.”
• Lu Young, Superintendent of the Jessamine County Public Schools in Nicholasville, with a student enrollment of 7,800. “My thanks to the screening committee and the Board for including me in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Fayette superintendency is a dream job for me and I am looking forward to engaging wholeheartedly in the selection process as it unfolds.”
“We felt a national search was in the best interest of our students,” said Fayette County Board of Education Chair John Price. “But after an exhaustive search and thorough review of applicants, three from within the state appeared to offer the expertise we’re looking for.”
The school board decision came after a roughly two-hour closed door session last night, during which the six-member superintendent screening committee and a pair of professional search consultants presented their recommended candidates.
“We were very impressed by the commitment and time spent by the members of the screening committee and board, and they had a hard time selecting from a strong slate of candidates,” said Tom Jacobson, owner and CEO of search consulting firm McPherson & Jacobson. “Although we had a number of good candidates from out of state, we found the strongest right here in Kentucky.”
Next week, each candidate will spend a full day – from 7 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. – in Lexington meeting with seven focus groups representing students, parents, community members and employees. After each candidate meets with representatives from various constituent groups, participants will be asked to provide written feedback to the school board about the applicants’ strengths and any community concerns.
The schedule includes a daily press conference at 3 p.m. and a public forum each night at 5:30 p.m. in Norsworthy Auditorium, 701 East Main Street. The community is encouraged and invited to attend.
Between now and Sunday, June 5 at midnight, the public is invited to submit questions for the candidates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Each candidate will be asked the same questions during each public forum, which will be moderated by KET’s Renee Shaw.
Following the forums, the board will conduct its formal interviews.
Young will interview June 7, Shelton will interview June 8 and Farris will interview June 9. The board will meet at 7 a.m. Friday, June 10, to begin its decision making process.
“We look forward to the interview process and the opportunity for the candidates to interact with our community,” Price said. “The full day of meeting with our stakeholders will allow us to learn more about each of them and evaluate their performance in order to find the right superintendent to continue to move our district forward for kids.”
The community has been heavily involved throughout the search, beginning with a series of public forums and focus group discussions that asked hundreds of Lexington residents about the qualities they’d like to see in the next superintendent. An additional 300 people filled out an online survey.
Based on that input, applicants were evaluated on the areas of leadership and transparency, as well as their commitment to making students a top priority, focusing on student achievement, eliminating disparities, moving the district forward and maintaining fiscal stability. The three finalists were selected from among 14 applicants representing a diversity of gender, race and professional experience.
The board hopes to have a new superintendent seated by July 1. Current Superintendent Stu Silberman is retiring after seven years with the district. He has since been hired to become the next executive director of the Prichard Committee.