By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Five candidates have been recommended for the job of Laurel County School Superintendent.
Doug Bennett, director of instruction for the Whitley Board of Education; Robert Fannin, assistant superintendent for Shelby County Public Schools; Kevin Hub, assistant superintendent of Madison County Schools; Randy Leger, assistant superintendent of Laurel County Schools; and Marvin Welch, assistant superintendent/chief operations officer of Madison County Schools, each had “extensive administrative experience,” said superintendent screening committee spokesperson PJ Bowman.
The names were given in no order of priority or preference, she said.
Monday, the Laurel County Board of Education accepted the recommendations by the superintendent screening committee, a six-member group responsible for vetting the candidates. The superintendent screening committee, appointed in February, also included board representative Ed Jones, teacher representatives Wendell Worley and Bobbie Huff, principal representative Vicki Jones and classified employee representative Jim Kennedy.
The committee received 22 qualified applications for the position prior to the Jan. 31 filing deadline.
As part of their duties, the screening committee looked into the backgrounds and experience of each applicant. They did not personally interview the candidates, said District Attorney Larry Bryson, but evaluated the qualifications of each applicant based on the criteria established by the Laurel County Board of Education.
The criteria stated the applicant should possess a minimum of five to 10 years of administrative experience; be an effective communicator; have a reputation of accessibility to the community, parents and local board members; and demonstrate fiscal responsibility and respect for the opinions of others including teachers, parents, community leaders, board members and students.
The committee called references and other persons who could speak to the candidate’s character. They also checked Internet profiles of each candidate.
Although all 22 applicants were “very qualified,” said Bowman, the final five were “stand outs.”
Bryson said the screening committee were “careful” and “conscientiousness” of their choices, as they were “sincerely concerned about the future of Laurel County Schools.”
The Laurel County Board of Education will consider the finalists recommended by the screening committee. However, the board is not required to appoint a superintendent from the committee’s recommended candidates.
The person hired will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Superintendent David Young in November. Interim Superintendent Sonny Fentress has been serving in that role since December.
In other matters:
• The board approved an amendment to the 2011-12 school calendar. Graduation has been set for May 12. The last day of school for Laurel County students is May 11.
• The board lifted the hiring freeze for the following positions: 14 tutors at SLMS for the 2011-12 school year only (paid through Gear Up funding); five student bus monitors; and three tutors at SLHS for the 2011-12 school year only.
• The board agreed to participate in the KSBA Energy Management program in partnership with Whitley County, Corbin and Williamsburg schools. The program, in its third year, allows schools to evaluate their energy use in order to save money. An energy consultant will be shared by the four school systems. The consultant will review all data and make recommendations to the board about possible energy savings. Laurel County’s portion of the cost is $21,000. Bryson stated that the district’s utility bills last year cost more than $2 million. “If we can save just one percent, we’d pay for the program,” he said.
• The board approved all consent items and appropriated $5,000 to Laurel County ASAP.