Search under way for new EIS superintendent

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Gary French to retire this summer

By Amber Coulter

Applications are being accepted for the next superintendent of Elizabethtown Independent Schools.

The job was advertised starting Dec. 19, and the window for accepting applications is expected to close 45 days after that.

School board members hope to name a new superintendent by May. There has been some interest in the position, board Chairman Guy Wallace said.

It’s helpful to have such a long hiring window to avoid rushing into a decision, he said.

Having such a long time time also allows whichever applicant is chosen to complete any unfinished business with their current school district the applicant will leave and assume the EIS job at the beginning of a school year, Wallace said.

“That makes a big difference,” he said. “It’s the best scenario.”

Current Superintendent Gary French announced in October his plan to retire in June. The longtime EIS teacher, coach and administrator has been superintendent since 2009.

A screening committee is being organized to help with the selection process. Names of committee members haven’t been provided to board members.

The committee’s job is to review all applications, perform background checks, call references and call people they know in applicants’ districts who might have additional insight.

They then present between three to five top applicants to board members for consideration.

The committee will consist of two teachers elected by district teachers, a principal elected by principals, a parent chosen by presidents of parent-teacher associations and a classified employee selected by the classified employees, Wallace said.

“It gives employees of the district some type of input, and it gives them a voice in this process,” he said.

Board members review all applications as well and can focus on the people recommended by the screening committee or others.

Members will make calls about the most promising applicants and set up interviews with top candidates.

A superintendent selection will be made based on interviews and information gathered, Wallace said.

Board members hope to begin interviews near April 1.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.