Durham County

A lot of people want to be Durham Public Schools’ next superintendent

The Durham Public Schools has received 42 applications from candidates vying to replace Superintendent Bert L’Homme when he steps down in September.

The deadline for superintendent hopefuls to submit applications was July 10.

The 42 applicants represent the second-highest total ever in a superintendent search conducted by the N.C. School Board Association (NCSBA).

Asheville City Schools received the highest applicant total in an NCSBA search in March when 53 candidates applied to replace Pamela Baldwin who stepped down to become superintendent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Allison Schafer, director of policy and legal counsel for the NCSBA said candidates like Durham because it’s a nice place to live and offers great opportunities for the person chosen to lead the school district.

“It’s also a great place for someone interested in equity,” Schafer said, adding that the equity issue also made the job in Asheville appealing to candidates. “The [Durham] school board has stated its commitment to equity.”

School board Chairman Mike Lee said the board will receive an update on the search when it meets Tuesday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m., and is also scheduled to complete a profile of the new superintendent it would like to hire.

The school board has set July 26 as the date the board will go into closed-session to select finalists for the post.

The board has set Oct. 4 as the date to name the new superintendent and introduce him or her the community.

The new superintendent would start work Nov. 3.

L’Homme originally announced that he would retire in August but has agreed to stay on the job until the end of September.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645