Search for super is likely topic behind closed doors today
by Haisten Willis
April 03, 2014 04:00 AM | 4171 views | 8 8 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb County Board of Education meets today at noon but plans to go behind closed doors as soon as the meeting begins.

According to the official notice from the school system, board members will meet at the central office on Glover Street to discuss “a student discipline appeal and a personnel matter.”

Though board chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci said no decision will be announced today regarding the search for a new superintendent, it appears that topic will at least be on the agenda.

“I cannot predict whether the board will choose to name an interim finalist tomorrow,” Angelucci said via email. She added, “the board is meeting tomorrow for a student discipline appeal as well.”

Board member David Morgan was equally tight-lipped.

“I’m not going to discuss what we may discuss (in a closed session),” he said. “We’re working through the process. I hate to be vague, but I have to uphold my duties as an elected official. We’re working through the process as fast as we can.”

Current Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, 57, announced his resignation in February. He has been superintendent since June 2011. Before that, Hinojosa was superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas, for six years.

Hinojosa’s last day on job is May 31

Hinojosa’s last day on the job will be May 31, and his base salary is $247,625. The board has been searching for a replacement for nearly two months.

Last March, the board voted 5-2 to extend Hinojosa’s contract through Dec. 31, 2014, with Angelucci and David Banks voting against.

It will likely be at least two more weeks before a superintendent is named now that the MDJ has filed an open records request seeking the names of the finalists. Per Georgia Open Records Act, the request asks the Cobb School District to disclose the name, resume and other information for at least three finalists for the superintendent job.

The school board has the choice of either releasing those documents for the three finalists or releasing them for every candidate who applied for the job, according to David Hudson, an open records expert and attorney for the Georgia Press Association.

Also per the law, at least 14 days must pass after the information has been released before a decision can be announced. This is to give the public time to look at the candidates.

Angelucci acknowledged the law in her comments Wednesday.

“As you are aware, it is only after the interview process and after the board chooses a finalist or finalists that the name(s) and other information on just the finalist(s) are made public, according to state law,” Angelucci said. “The board must wait 14

days after a finalist(s) (is named) to make their final selection.”

It looked like a new superintendent might be named last Thursday, with Banks saying he hoped a finalist would be named “by the end of the month.” The school board met behind closed doors that night to talk things over, delaying the start of the meeting by 45 minutes. They retreated into a closed session after the meeting, but a new superintendent was not named.

Board member Randy Scamihorn spoke last week about the length of a contract likely to be offered to the interim superintendent.

“The interim period probably will be, just an estimation, six months to a year, maybe a little longer depending on how the search goes,” Scamihorn said on March 26. “There’s certainly a chance the interim person could be the permanent person.”

Calls made to Scamihorn, Banks and board members Scott Sweeney and Brad Wheeler on Wednesday were not returned by press time.

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Old Smyrna Voter
April 03, 2014
While it is quite appropriate for the board to keep these conversations behind closed doors, members of the board of education should be willing to attend public forums in an election cycle.

It has come to my attention that neither Tim Stultz nor Scott Sweeney are willing to appear on the televised debate on April 10th. One question: Why not? are they afraid that they may be seen as weak and ineffective leaders?
Televised Debate
April 03, 2014
What televised debate? April 10? Which channel?
@ Old Smyrna Voter
April 03, 2014
You just might want to check your facts... Sweeney will be there. No word on Stultz.
April 04, 2014
Sweeney is relying on the Incumbent next to his name to win re-election. Despite his track record.
April 04, 2014
Very doubtful Sweeney is afraid - he's hosted more public meetings than all board members combined. His leadership is greatly appreciated by many.

Cobb School Advocate
April 03, 2014
Wasting Valuable time ! This is the prime time to hire a permanent superintentent ( before renewing elsewhere and end of schoo year ) so why is our Board wasting time, going on 3 months, even discussing an interim ?

The largest obstacle to Cobb hiring a permanent superintendent is finding a quality hire that will work for THIS BOARD - now that is a serious challenge but will not be improved in the next several months - so they need to bear-down, suit-up, and review the resumes and HIRE NOW - otherwise is more wasted time for effective leadership in Cobb Schools.

Does anyone agree with this?
Teacher Mom
April 04, 2014
I don't necessarily agree that this is the time to hire - I think that time has past for this year. Most schools around the country have all hiring decisions ready to go by March 1st. Cobb is always way behind on this. That is one of the reasons why the good teacher candidates go elsewhere instead of Cobb. Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb and other counties have already advertised their openings for next school year. They pay more and have their acts together. CCSD does not. When I taught in 3 Midwestern states, all hiring and signing of contracts was done in March. The same with new superintendents that were hired. CCSD needs to get their act together and do it quickly. This ship is sinking and we need a smart leader.
Alison Stouder
April 04, 2014
Alison Stouder was the interim last time. SHe has been with CCSD for years until leaving. She would be the perfect super. because she knows CCSD and the operations. Let's stop hiring from outside the district, because that has not worked well at all. I have no confidence in this board to hire anyone. Only two board members wanted to get rid of Hinojosa when his contract was up for renewal, yet the other 5 made a bad choice when employees did not want him.
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