The playing field just narrowed for those wishing to land the director of schools seat. The full Claiborne School Board spent a good deal of time last Thursday evening sifting through some 18 applications. By the end of that meeting, the board had managed to whittle the number of applicants to eight individuals to replace Connie Holdway, the current director.
The chosen eight will advance to the interview process during sessions on Feb. 13 and Feb. 16. As it stands now, the four applicants who live nearby will be interviewed during the first session. Those living farther away will get the opportunity to present their qualifications during the second session.
The interviews, scheduled to begin each night at 6 p.m., will be held at Cumberland Gap High School. These sessions are open to the public.
The eight hopefuls are Meredith Arnold, Lisa Ferguson, Brian Greene, Linda Keck, Gary McCann, Joseph Miller, Jason Scarbrough and Jim Shipley.
There are three ‘local’ individuals who made the ‘short list.’ Ferguson is a teacher at Claiborne High School. Her work history includes a stint as a state evaluator of pre-school teachers. Shipley is the current principal of Springdale Elementary. Keck is currently principal at Cumberland Gap High School.
McCann, who will likely be the fourth person interviewed during the first session, is the superintendent of federal programs at Lee County Public Schools in Virginia.
Miller is the director and principal of Career Technical Education in Morgan County, at Wartburg. Arnold is the principal at Lafollette Elementary, in Campbell County.
Greene is an adjunct math teacher at Walters State Community College. Scarbrough is the principal at Inman Middle School, located in the Paris Special School District.
The minimum requirements for this position are a master’s degree, a license as a professional educator and experience in administration.
Holdway, who is scheduled to retire on June 30, publicly announced her plans well over a year ago. Since that time, she has worked feverishly to ensure the various projects and programs ‘closest to her heart’ are completed before she officially leaves her post.
The board will likely update the public during its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 9. The full board is expected to select the new director of schools during a special-called policy committee workshop on Feb. 23.
The new director will be announced on March 9. Holdway said during a previous telephone interview that she wants the new director to have plenty of time to ‘learn the ropes’ prior to the June 30 retirement date. However, the school board has not yet set a specific start date for the new director.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.