Durham County

Durham’s next superintendent is among 10 candidates the school board plans to interview next month

One parent thinks the next superintendent will “make or break” Durham Public Schools

Video: Antonio Jones, a new father, supporter of public education and former Durham Public Schools employee shares his concerns about the impact of the upcoming superintendent selection in August.
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Video: Antonio Jones, a new father, supporter of public education and former Durham Public Schools employee shares his concerns about the impact of the upcoming superintendent selection in August.

The Durham Board of Education has winnowed its list of 42 candidates vying to become the school district’s next superintendent to 10.

The school board met Wednesday, July 26, behind closed doors at the Hillandale Staff Development Center to trim the list of 42 candidates, the second most ever in a superintendent search conducted by the N.C. School Board Association (NCSBA).

The 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.

Durham Public Schools Board of Education Chairman Mike Lee said the 10 chosen for interviews by the Durham school board include both in-state and out-of-state candidates.

Lee declined to say whether any of the 10 already works for DPS.

He said the board had extensive discussions about each of the 10 candidates but reached consensus without much disagreement.

“We came to those 10 in a very easy way,” Lee said. “There was lots of discussion but, for the most part, there was agreement on the 10 candidates.”

Lee said the board will interview the candidates Aug. 24-26 and Aug. 30, if necessary, at a location to be determined.

After the interviews, Lee said the board will trim the list again and hold a second round of interviews before selecting the next superintendent.

Lee said all 10 remaining candidates have many of the qualities the board is seeking.

He said those qualities include sensitivity and commitment to student equity, a strong vision and leadership qualities and the ability to garner community support.

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

This is a developing story. Look for an update later today.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645

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