Davis snubs superintendent search interviews

May. 29, 2014 @ 02:16 PM

School board member Fredrick Davis stayed true to his word Thursday and did not attend a closed-door meeting to interview semifinalists for the superintendent post.
Davis, who did not seek re-election this month to the District 2 seat he now holds, vowed last week not to attend the interview sessions if a vote to allow three newly-elected school board members attend the sessions in a non-voting advisory role.
He confirmed Wednesday in an email to The Herald-Sun that he was sticking to his decision to not attend the interview sessions scheduled for Thursday and today.
The remaining seven members of the school board and two of the three newly-elected board members, who won’t be sworn in until July, gathered at a local hotel Thursday to begin interviewing candidates.
School board Chairwoman Heidi Carter called the meeting to order in the hotel lobby and, after a moment of silence, the board and the newly elected board members headed into closed session to begin the process of interviewing the six candidates.
Carter has said the board would likely trim the list of six semifinalists to three or four finalists, who would be interviewed sometime next week.
The decision to allow the three newly-elected school board members – Mike Lee, Matt Sears and Sendolo Diaminah – join the search process was made on a contentious 4-3 vote during last week’s board meeting.
Carter and board members Nancy Cox, Leigh Bordley and Natalie Beyer voted in favor of the motion to include the newly elected members who won’t take office until July.
School board Vice Chairwoman Minnie Forte-Brown and board members Davis and Omega Curtis Parker voted against including them.
Those in favor said allowing board members-elect to participate is one way to build a bridge between new members and old members and to receive additional input from the community on an important decision.
And those who voted against argued that the job of hiring a superintendent is solely that of the current board. They also said it would set a bad precedent to allow anyone other than current members have such an intimate role in the process.
The search for a new superintendent drew interest from 314 people from 48 states, including 98 from 28 states who were interested enough in the job to complete the application package.
The person selected will replace Eric Becoats who resigned in December amid criticism over his management of the school district.