The search firm charged with finding top candidates for Richland 1 superintendent is still accepting applications and will meet next week with the full board to discuss results of a community survey, Richland 1 school board chairman Aaron Bishop and a search executive said Thursday.
BWP & Associates, an Illinois-based executive search firm, has posted a page-length job advertisement in national publications and on its website.
Odell Stuckey, an education consultant who is part of the BWP team working on the Richland 1 position, said applications will be accepted until mid-January.
“We are still recruiting; the recruitment process will end on Jan. 12 and then we will take that information to the school board,” Stuckey said Thursday. On Jan. 20, BWP will present the board with a full slate of potential candidates.
But first, Odell said the BWP team on Tuesday will share results of a survey posted on the Richland 1 website. It sought community input on characteristics and skills of the future superintendent, what experience level they desired in the new executive and what they viewed as the strengths and challenges of Richland 1.
He said BWP will try to match Richland 1’s criteria with the slate of candidates presented Jan. 20. The board will then choose candidates for a first round of interviews.
Eventually, the board will narrow the process down to three candidates who will return for a second round of interviews with the board and members of the community, he said.
“Anytime I talk about the search process, I emphasize that the board is in charge,” Stuckey said. “BWP is doing the legwork for the board. We have got a lot of people who look good on paper and we are trying to make sure that the paper description matches what the candidate really did in previous work experiences.”
Bishop said the timetable is fluid to find a replacement for Percy Mack, who retired June 30 after six years in the top position. Dr. Cynthia Cash-Greene, a former Orangeburg schools superintendent with extensive experience in Richland 1, is serving as interim superintendent for the 24,000-student district until the search is complete.
Bishop said he did not know whether Cash-Greene is applying for the position. The job posting indicates the new superintendent should be in place no later than July 1, 2015.
“Located in the Midlands of South Carolina, Richland One offers students, employees, parents and community residents an environment that embraces diversity; unique partnerships with businesses, higher education institutions, and the faith community; and unlimited cultural opportunities,” the job description reads.
The firm has 13 searches in progress across the country for superintendents or school executives, including one in another South Carolina school district, Florence 2.