Patrick’s search for new superintendent may meet deadline

By Cory L. Higgs and Debbie Hall
A new school superintendent of the Patrick County School Division may be hired by the Thanksgiving deadline.
Brandon Simmons, chairman of the Patrick County School Board said “It’s possible we will meet it. I am hopeful we will meet” the deadline that was set by those leading the search.
Acting Patrick County School Superintendent Dr. J. David Martin, who was tapped to fill the post in June, also has spearheaded the search through his consulting firm, Real Synergy LLC.
Martin said the search committee has completed the first round of interviews.
The committee is made up of Martin and members of the Patrick County School Board, Simmons said.
He estimated five people applied for the position, including three in-state applicants and two out-of-state applicants. Simmons added that none of the applicants were from Patrick County or the local school division.
“I was hoping for a lot more applicants” and a larger pool of potential candidates, Simmons said. He speculated that the county’s public image may have been a factor in the low number of applicants. “Of course, we always want more, but I’m pleased with the results we’ve had.”
Besides, Martin said, “It only takes one candidate to match the profile the community built.” Data collected from surveys and from interviews with stakeholders, county residents and others in the community, was used to build the profile, which is being used in the selection process.
Among those to apply were a former superintendent, central office employees, and those holding doctorate degrees, Martin said. He added that a doctorate was not a requirement but was preferred.
The second round of interviews has been slated for the second week of November, Simmons said.
Additional details of the superintendent search may be discussed, along with other school board matters, at the next Patrick County School Board meeting, Martin said.
The meeting is set for Thursday, Nov. 14 in the third-floor courtroom of the Patrick County Memorial Building in Stuart. Closed session begins at 5:30 p.m., with open session to follow.

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