Six apply for superintendent job – Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — On Monday morning, six people applied to be the next superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
The application also closed on Monday. Council chairman Dean Hunter said four nominations were received over the weekend.
He said the board had yet to begin reviewing nominations, noting that the board could not have broader discussions unless there was a quorum at a meeting.
“I haven’t even seen any individually,” Hunter said.
He said the board also hasn’t set a date to start reviewing applications.
“Nothing says we have to make a decision now,” Hunter said. “It’s in our yard.”
Recent surveys of the profession show that many superintendents are considering leaving their jobs and are finding parts of their jobs increasingly difficult. An executive summary of consulting firm EAB’s annual survey of superintendents indicates that most superintendents have been working around the clock since March 2020 “navigating a constant rollercoaster of state and federal mandates, the absence of guidance from authorities when it was most needed and communities with opposing opinions on every key decision.
Hunter said the fields for every role in education are getting thinner, from teachers to the highest levels of administration. The entire state faces a shortage of key personnel, including teachers, bus drivers and nutrition workers.
“My personal frustration is that so many people don’t want to stay where they are, whether it’s at the administrative, superintendent or cabinet level in all of our systems,” Hunter said.
Dates have not been set for a community forum on the search for superintendents. Hunter said the forums won’t involve candidates, but he hopes the board will host multiple forums on different sites so more people have a chance to come.
He said the board hopes to have more details on the forums after next Monday’s meeting.
The board spent nearly two hours behind closed doors at a meeting last week, and one member quit the Wallace Educational Forum before it was over, but Hunter said the superintendent’s research was only briefly discussed.
Hunter said the board did not have a target date for hiring a superintendent, adding that the immediate priority was to achieve some stability after former superintendent Tony Watlington left in April and that the district was still looking to fill leadership positions in its finance department. The board immediately named Jason Gardner as acting superintendent and has since appointed new leaders to the finance department, including appointing Faith Lambeth as district chief financial officer.
“We felt like what we needed to do was establish a good base and some stability before doing any quick or instinctive reactions,” Hunter said.
Hunter said he believed the cabinet level of the administration was established and that Gardner was a capable interim.
“He knows the people, he knows the moving parts, the day-to-day operations, so we’re definitely in a stable position right now,” Hunter said.