Fayette board starts superintendent search, nominations sought for committee

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FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County schools are kicking off a national search for a new superintendent.

And the district’s school board stressed Monday the process will be inclusive and the candidates will reflect the diversity of the school district’s more than 40,000 students whose families speak 95 different languages.

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The board heard a detailed discussion of the process for hiring a replacement for Dr. Manny Caulk, who died suddenly early last month.

The board worked through language for hiring a search firm and ways to engage the district’s many voices. But they stressed the process is only beginning.

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, by no means is today the culmination of this work. This is only the beginning of what will be an open discussion on the next steps going forward,” School Board Chairman Tyler Murphy.

Murphy appointed board member Tom Jones, who has extensive education and district experience, represent the board on a search committee once it is finalized.

FOLLOWING MONDAY’S MEETING, MURPHY SET THE STATEMET BELOW TO FAMILIES:

Dear Fayette County Public Schools Families:

This afternoon your Fayette County Board of Education had our first opportunity to discuss the process of selecting the next superintendent to lead FCPS during a work session prior to our regularly scheduled monthly planning meeting. Our board team is committed to collaborating with our community and working as a team to find the best candidate to shepherd our district into the future.

We began our discussion this evening by reviewing the superintendent selection process outlined in state law and discussing a general timeline for the search. Our goal is to have a new superintendent in place on July 1, 2021.

One of the first ways for our community to be involved is the Superintendent Screening Committee. According to state law, the screening committee is comprised of two certified employees elected by certified employees, one classified employee elected by classified employees, one principal elected by principals, one parent/guardian elected by PTA presidents from each school, and one board of education member appointed by the board chair.

The process of seating that committee began today, with the opening of nominations for people interested in serving. Family members may nominate themselves or someone else here.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, January 15, 2021, and voting will be January 18 – 22, 2021. The members of this committee will play an important role in advising the school board during the screening process. Fayette County Board of Education member Tom Jones has agreed to serve as the board representative on the screening committee. He has more than 43 years of experience in the field of education not only in Kentucky, but across our nation. His service includes 16 years as principal of Bryan Station Middle School, and 16 years with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED/Cognia, a national non-profit committed to accrediting, evaluating, and supporting school and district improvement.

This week the board will also begin advertising for superintendent search firms or executive recruiters to support us in this process. We are looking for an organization with a track record of recruiting a slate of diverse candidates to ensure our applicant pool mirrors the diversity of the students and families we serve.

In closing, I want to again affirm the commitment of our entire board to find ways to involve all stakeholders in this process. We recognize that the five of us cannot adequately capture the breadth and depth of diversity represented by our students, employees, families, and community. But we will be intentional and creative in finding ways to ensure that your voices will be heard and valued.

We need each of you to be a part of moving our district forward and I encourage you to play an active role in the superintendent search process.

Your board of education team is committed to conducting this search in a way that builds upon and strengthens employee, student, family, and community engagement in order to attract a leader who will help us achieve our mission of ensuring all students achieve at high levels and graduate prepared to excel in a global society.

Sincerely,

Tyler Murphy
Fayette County Board of Education Chairman