Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

TOP STORY >> District looking at eight hopefuls

By RICKY HARVEY
Leader managing editor

Only one school official with Arkansas ties is among the eight candidates who have completed the application process for the superintendent position with the Pulaski County Special School District.

PCSSD interim superintendent James Sharpe is the only district employee and the only applicant working in the state who has completed the initial process, according to the list of names released Tuesday by McPherson and Jacobson, an Omaha, Neb., consulting firm conducting the search.

“We have some very strong candidates,” said Thomas Jacobson, who has headed the search.
Along with Sharpe, the other applicants include:

• Dr. Craig Bangston of Leitchfield, Ky., a former superintendent with both the Grayson County (Ga.) and Bartow County (Ga.) School Districts. Bangston has more than 30 years of education experience.
He holds a doctorate in finance and business administration from Columbia Pacific University and a doctor of education degree in curriculum and finance from Texas A&M University.
He also holds a master’s of science degree in elementary administration and elementary education and bachelor’s of science degree in physical education, special education and coaching, both from Bemidji (Minn.) State Uni-versity.

• Dr. Betty Cox, of Baton Rouge, La., former superintendent with Rapides Parish School District in Louisiana who also does work for the Louisiana State University School of Law;

• Dr. Bruce Harter, of Wil-mington, Del., current superintendent of the Brandywine (Del.) School District, which has an enrollment of 10,602 students.
Harter has also been superintendent in Fort Myers, Fla., and Corvallis, Ore., and associate superintendent in Vista, Calif. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, his master’s from Eastern Michigan Uni-versity and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.
Harter has worked in nine different states and has a connection to Arkansas, serving as an assistant principal at Paris High School from 1978-1981.
• Dr. Aquine Jackson of Mil-waukee, chief academic officer of Milwaukee Public Schools;

• Dr. Kenneth Musgrove, superintendent of Waynesville (Mo.) School District, which has an enrollment of 5,058 students;

• Dr. Bettye Wright, of Villa Rica, Ga., principal of William M. Bond Elementary in Atlanta;

• Dr. Carl Davies of Powder Springs, Ga., whose current position could not be verified at deadline.
Jacobson, the consultant, said that he will meet with the PCSSD board at 6:30 p.m. Monday to review the applicants and assist in selecting final candidates, typically four.

Those finalists will then begin an interview process, which is scheduled to be held the week of Jan. 23.
Jacobson said two of the applicants, which he wouldn’t name, were recruited to apply for the position by his firm.

“We have been reading all of the applicants’ files and scoring their responses to answers on their forms,” Jacobson said.
“We’re going to go through everything.”