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BOE to review superintendent candidates
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Applications for the next Newton County School System superintendent are under review this week, as the Newton County Board of Education has scheduled three days of executive session in orders to trim down the list of applicants.

Board of Education members met in executive session yesterday, April 2, at 3:45 p.m. and will meet again in executive session today, April 3, and tomorrow, April 4, also at 3:45 p.m., according to a release from the NCSS.

During the closed meetings, board members are expected to review the list of candidates for the superintendent position. Current NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews announced late last year his plan to retire June 30, at the end of the school systems fiscal year.

BOE Chair Abigail Coggin said the called executive session meetings were specifically for discussing and possibly narrowing down the 34 applicants for the superintendent position.

Officials with the NCSS previously said of the 34 applicants for the position, 26 applicants hold doctorates — 20 have doctorates in education and six have doctorates in other fields; six applicants hold education specialist degrees; and the remaining two have master’s degrees.

Six of the 34 applicants are currently sitting school superintendents and six are either deputy, assistant, regional or associate superintendents.

Five of the applicants are current principals. Other positions held by applicants include director of exceptional education, executive director of support services, a retired teacher, a facilitator, a consultant, a former superintendent, an assistant professor, an executive consultant, a Race to the Top director, a chief financial officer, a public service faculty, a chief human resources officer and a supervisor of math.

Of the 34 applicants, 24 currently reside in Georgia and two are from Alabama. The remaining candidates hail from Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Arkansas, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia.

“We had a lot of very good applicants, so we’ve got to narrow it down,” Coggin said.

Coggin added that the board is still in the beginning stages of the selection process and hasn’t narrowed it down to a list of finalists. The process of selecting a list of finalists for the next superintendent will possibly take several executive sessions to do so.

“We do not have a timeline set in stone by any means for a selection,” Coggin said. “In my opinion, the sooner the better, but we want the right candidates. So, we want to make sure that we take our time so that we do pick the best candidate for our community.”