Holiday stress has the Richmond School Board asking the state for a deadline extension in its search for a new superintendent.
School board members have reduced the field of 76 candidates to three finalists, they say, but board members say the prospect of having them face the public just before the holidays has some concerned about turnout.
In a letter sent Thursday, Chairman Jeffrey Bourne asks for a 30-day extension from the Dec. 27 deadline set by the Department of Education. The state could appoint its own replacement beginning Dec. 28 if the board doesn’t name one on its own.
“With the holidays it’s just tough,” 1st District Representative Glen Sturtevant says. “Everybody in the public has other things going on right now.”
The board,has stated several times its intention to hear public input before making a final selection to meet the Dec. 27 deadline set by the state. Second District Representative Kim Gray says that rather than having separate public meetings for each finalist, the board is looking to introduce all three at once, placing each in separate rooms for question-and-answer sessions.
Gray says the meeting would likely take place Dec. 18.
“Whoever we ultimately select will need the support of the parents and the public at large to be an effective,” 2nd District Representative Kim Gray says.
Board members have been reluctant to share details about the superintendent finalists, but Gray characterized the field as diverse, with a “variety of philosophical differences.”
If the state rejects the board’s request for an extension, Gray says the options are to either choose someone by the original deadline, or continue the process knowing the state likely won’t appoint its own replacement on Dec. 28.