Grayson reviews 19 school chief applicants

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The school board will conduct interviews with superintendent candidates through September

By Shaina Stockton

INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Public Schools has received 27 inquiries for its vacant superintendent position.

Of these inquiries, there have been 19 applications, according to a summary provided by School Board Chairman Larry Bartlett this week.

Out of the applicant pool, seven applicants are current or former superintendents, five applicants have experience as central office administrators and three have experience as building-level administrators. Four applicants list “other” levels of experience, but details were not included in the summary.

The summary did not include names or other information that would identify the applicants.

Eight of the potentials are from Virginia, and 11 are from out of state — one from Washington D.C., one from Maryland, two from North Carolina, one from Pennsylvania, one from South Carolina, two from Tennessee, one from Wisconsin and two from West Virginia.

The application pool consists of 14 men and five women.

The position of schools superintendent was vacated earlier this year by Kevin Chalfant, who served for three years before resigning at the end of May.

The Grayson County School Board sought help from the Virginia School Boards Association in developing a game plan for finding the perfect candidate to fill the seat.

Bartlett said earlier that the school system was searching for a capable leader, and that until the right person was found, the county would continue to be a “revolving door” for short-term superintendents.

In June, the board developed a timeline for hiring a new superintendent, stating that (barring any changes) the board expects to announce its choice between September and October.

Larry Massie, the retired superintendent of Buckingham County Schools, was hired as an interim superintendent to serve until the board hires a replacement.

Prior to advertising the position, the board opened a public survey to determine what qualifications the community sought in a new school leader. The list was then sent to the VSBA for review.

In June, The Grayson County Citizens for Better Schools delivered its own list of qualifications to the school board. The citizens’ group requested that the new school chief be local, with experience in leadership (prior experience as a superintendent not required, but possibly a former teacher or principal with proven leadership in education) and preferably female.

The school board held a special called meeting Tuesday morning, where members went into closed session to review applicants. According to the timeline agreed to by the board, applicants will be interviewed through September.