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Search for superintendent to remain secret

By Chris Eversole

The Mustang Board of Education decided Monday to conduct its first round of interviews for a new superintendent Monday and Tuesday.
The board did not decide on how many applicants it would interview, but the number could be as many as 12, Board President Jeff Landrith said.
The board will interview finalists in December, he said.
In June, the board hired the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to coordinate the search, and its application deadline was Friday.
The association executive director, Shawn Hime, said in June that using the organization keeps applicants confidential until late in the search process.
The typical applicant wants to keep his or her interest in the job quiet, Hime said. “He doesn’t need the whole town knowing he’s interviewing,” he said.
The board will conduct the interviews away from school property so the public and the press won’t be able to identify applicants, Landrith said.
Interim Superintendent Charles Bradley, who has worked for Mustang Schools for 19 years, applied for the job, but Landrith said he was not authorized to say if the board would interview him.
The board is paying the association a base fee of $6,000.
The organization is available for other services, such as conducting community surveys and meetings regarding what people want in a superintendent, for an addition charges, but the Mustang board isn’t using any of those services.
The $6,000 goes to marketing the position widely, compiling applications and coordinating interviews.
The job became vacant when former Superintendent Sean McDaniel resigned in May after taking the helm of Oklahoma City Schools.
Some school districts end up hiring from within, Hime noted.
Even when there is a strong internal candidate, he recommends conducting a thorough search.
“There is more credibility with staff and parents if an internal candidate doesn’t get special treatment,” he said.
The board’s composition has changed since McDaniel resigned.
Dr. Jim Davis, who had been the board’s vice president, resigned because he no longer has children in school, and Chad Fulton, who had been president, resigned because his wife took a teaching job.
The new members are Todd Lovelace and Dedra Stafford.
Mark Webb, president of the Mustang Education Association, said that teachers are comfortable with the pace of the superintendent search.
“This search is a little different because the new board members needed time to get up to speed,” he said.
“The administration surveyed teachers over the summer, and we appreciate the board’s interest in our input.”

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