School board gives no response to public comment on superintendent search

BY ABIGAIL ROBERTS

Correspondent

STANFORD – A question posed during the public comment portion of the Lincoln County Board of Education meeting last week was met with silence from board members.

Amanda Smith, a local parent of an elementary student, spoke during the public comment portion of the board’s May 11 working meeting.

“I just have one question. The district published that a search committee was formed to select choices for the board to review for a new superintendent. The search committee is a collection of stakeholders that were chosen to represent the best interests of Lincoln County schools,” Smith said. “So I have a question for every board member: Are you all willing to go on record as saying that you will go with a candidate that the search committee recommends, or are you choosing a specific candidate that you already have in mind?”

Smith’s question was met with silence.

Chairman Etta Meek then called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Smith said she was disappointed in the school board’s lack of response.

“If anything, they could have said ‘no comment’ or ‘we will all strive to pick the best candidate possible for our kids,’ or ‘we have our students’ best interest at heart,’ or something,” she said. “It was just disheartening that they just sat there. My main interest is to make sure that there is fairness and transparency in the search for a superintendent.”

According to at-home viewers, the livestream link went private during public comment, but was later fixed for the public to view.

Lincoln County Board of Education meetings can be viewed on Youtube on the LC Communications channel.

The Lincoln County School District is in the process of finding a new superintendent.

A superintendent search committee was created to help with the process. The committee includes one board representative, one principal, two certified staff members, one classified staff member, one minority parent and one parent.

The Superintendent Screening Committee is responsible for reading through the applications received, reviewing background checks, calling references, and choosing the top candidates to be interviewed by the school board.

The timeline for the superintendent search is as follows:

• May 16: third screening committee meeting; recommendations finalized for the board

• May 23: joint meeting between the board and screening committee to receive recommendations

• TBD: board interviews candidates

• TBD: New superintendent named

All meetings will be held at the Student Support Center.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a presentation from Highland Elementary Principal Suzanne Montgomery;

• Heard a presentation from Lincoln Theinert with RSA to discuss SFCC Offer/Cash requirements related to the LCHS bubble;

• Heard a presentation from Director of Finance, LeeAnn Smith, on the tentative budget for the 2023-24 school year, the 2022-23 school year audit contracts, indirect cost rates, drug testing bids, insurance for the 2023-24 school year and principals combining budgets;

• Approved a memorandum of agreement with EKU for an intern;

• Approved Lincoln County High School baseball boosters’ request for approval to operate as an external booster club;

• Heard requests from Early Childhood to create an assistant director position and the hire of six additional instructional assistants for the program;

• Heard requests for additional staffing for Gear Up;

• Heard requests to change job descriptions within Early Childhood to better aligned with responsibilities of positions;

• Request for approval for Educators Rising National competition;

• Approved payments of Ross Tarrant invoices for Middle School Connector Project ($2,196.51); LCHS Track & Field Project ($1,745.04);

• Approved payments to Jarboe Construction totaling $222,740.30 and to Rising Sun Construction totaling $233,555.96.

The Lincoln County Board of Education will meet for its regular monthly meeting May 18 at the Student Support Center located at 305 Danville Ave. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

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