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Few speak out on Halifax County superintendent search

Three residents told Halifax County School Board members what to look for as they search for the next school superintendent.

During a public hearing held Monday night before the regular scheduled school board meeting, the Rev. William Carr, Cheryl Watts and Steve Salley offered their ideas of what qualities the next school superintendent should possess.

Each individual speaking was limited to three minutes and asked to only make positive remarks.

Although Monday was the deadline to submit an online superintendent search criteria survey, School Board Chairman Karen Hopkins informed the audience a laptop was set up in the back for anyone who had been unable to complete the survey but still wished to do so before leaving the meeting.

The first individual to address board members was the Rev. William Carr who gave a list of qualifications he believes the next superintendent should hold.

He first thanked Superintendent Paul Stapleton for his years of service.

“They would listen to input, have leadership skills…be strongly committed to students first, secure positive student behavior and learning environment,” said Carr.

Cheryl Watts, who participated in the online survey, said she wanted to address something that wasn’t on the survey.

Her ideal candidate would be someone who had not reached the top of his or her career or the school system’s pay scale.

“A good match for our school system would be someone who is successfully in the midst of their career and not at the end of their career or at the highest point of the pay scale. All money conserved may save a teaching position or program from being cut,” said Watts.

Steve Salley, a parent of one middle school student and two elementary students, told school board members he has “great concern for our superintendent to be.”

He said he believes the next superintendent should have roots within the county and not just someone here to work a contract.

“We do not need a superintendent with a county car and an expense account, and if he has an expense account he should turn in receipts and be reimbursed. If you attend meetings, he should have a willingness to speak to you,” said Salley.

At the conclusion of the public hearing ED-8 trustee Walter Potts requested each individual make their written comments available to the board for review as they go over survey results.

Board members are scheduled to meet Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the school board office conference room to review the superintendent search survey results and determine the criteria to be placed in the vacancy advertisement.