Super pick could come July 1

By Mike Gellatly -

LUMBERTON — A date has been set for the Board of Education of the Public Schools of Robeson County to meet and perhaps decide on who will lead the system as its superintendent.

According to the chairman of the board, the meeting will be July 1 at 9 a.m. As of today, the system was still trying to determine where the meeting will be held. The board is displaced from Hurricane Matthew, and has rotated meeting sites between COMtech, Lumberton City Hall and some facilities operated by the system not destroyed by the floodwaters.

The board had planned to meet Tuesday, but Chairman Loistine DeFreece made the decision to postpone it at the request of some board members who wanted more time to make a decision.

Finding the meeting date was a struggle because board members had standing private and personal commitments, according to DeFreece.

One conflict was several board members are headed to San Antonio for the International Society of Technology in Education Conference. The annual event, which runs from Saturday though Wednesday, attracts about 15,000 educators from around the country.

As many as four superintendent candidates were interviewed this past Saturday during closed sessions held at COMtech. Several informed sources have told The Robesonian two candidates now remain.

Twenty-one applicants who met the criteria set out by the board had applied by the mid-April deadline, said Allison Schafer, of the North Carolina School Boards Association, which has helped with the search. An initial round of interviews was conducted in late May.

Schafer set out the timeline for candidate selection, which included naming the new superintendent by July 1 and the selected candidate taking office Aug. 1.

The superintendent position became vacant on Jan. 10 when the decision to buy out Superintendent Tommy Lowry’s contract was made in a 6-5 vote. Shanita Wooten has been serving as the system’s interim superintendent.

By Mike Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

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