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GSBA to lead search for new superintendent
Newton County School Board requests community input in selection process
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The Newton County Board of Education has selected the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) to conduct the search for the school district's new superintendent. Current school superintendent, Dr. Steve Whatley recently announced his plans to retire effective June 30, 2010. The Newton County Board of Education has also asked for the community's input on the qualifications most desired for the school system's next school superintendent.

"Community input is very important to us," said Cathy Dobbs, Vice?Chair of the Newton County Board of Education. "We hope we'll have people participate in this process as hiring a new superintendent has a very lasting effect on our school system for years to come. We will do a very broad search as it is important that we find the best person to lead our school district. We ask that people keep the school board in their thoughts and prayers as we begin the search to find our next superintendent of schools."

Don Rooks, GSBA Director of Legislative and Superintendent Search Services is leading the local board through the selection process.

"The public is invited to participate in this process by completing a survey about the qualifications that they feel are most important for the new leader to possess," said Rooks. "A link to the survey is now on the Newton School System's Web site at" Rooks added, "If you know of a qualified person that you want GSBA to send a vacancy notice and application packet to, GSBA has a nomination form on their Web site at" A link to the GSBA nomination form is also posted on the Newton County School System homepage.

According to Rooks, once a board selects GSBA, it designates the board liaison with GSBA and the school system representative responsible for providing GSBA with school district and community information. Newton County Board of Education Vice?Chair Cathy Dobbs will serve as the board liaison and Sherri Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools will serve as the school system representative.

GSBA will assist the Newton County School Board in establishing the criteria for recruiting and selecting a new superintendent. GSBA will also prepare and provide the search materials, develop and mail the announcements and post them on numerous state and national Web sites, including the Web sites of the GSBA, the Georgia School Superintendents Association, and the National School Boards Association.

All applications are sent to GSBA to handle receipt and processing. GSBA will then review the
applications to be sure they are complete and in compliance with established criteria from the Newton County Board of Education and then sort the applications into three groups and report the findings to the local board. Once complete, the Newton County Board of Education will then view the applications and select the top candidates to interview. GSBA will schedule the interviews for the board and will be on?site to help coordinate the process. Once the Newton County Board of Education selects their new superintendent and that person accepts, the board will then notify the media about the selection.

"GSBA's superintendent search staff advises the board during every step in the process while ensuring that the local board retains total decision?making control," said Rooks. "GSBA handles the majority of all superintendent searches that are conducted in Georgia."

The Georgia School Boards Association is a voluntary association of the state's 180 locally elected boards of education. Its mission is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of its members.


DRAFT Timeline


1. Activate the search (Board approval) 11/05/2009
2. Submit all required information (see checklist) 11/20/2009
3. Brochure Approval by Board 12/14/2009
4. Mailing of Brochure 12/22/2009
5. Nominations Deadline 01/19/2010
6. Deadline for receipt of application 01/29/2010
7. Complete application evaluation and reference checks 02/12/2010
8. GSBA report to Board of Education Week of 02/22/2010
9. Interviews Board Decision (Upon completion of interviews, release information to the media on "as many as" three final candidates.)
10. Selection of Superintendent (Any time after 14 days counted from date of release of information to the public.)
11. Superintendent reporting date Negotiated (Exact time and date for steps nine and 11 to be set by the Newton County BOE in consultation with the GSBA and/or selected superintendent.)

Georgia law requires that at least 14 days prior to appointing a superintendent, the Board of Education must release to the media the information they have about as many as three candidates who are being considered (O.C.G.A. 50?18?72).

Boards normally begin that 14?day countdown by releasing appropriate applications and bio?information when the search is narrowed to three or, in some cases, fewer than three candidates. The Board can vote on the appointment at any time after the 14?day period.