Leader Blues

Monday, March 26, 2007

TOP STORY >>Holman successor sought

IN SHORT: Cabot School District is eager to find a successor for the departing superintendent and has set a salary range for the new chief between $135,000-$175,000.

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Within 24 hours of Dr. Frank Holman announcing his resignation as superintendent of Cabot schools, the Cabot School Board has begun the process of finding his replacement.

Cabot School Board members began working on finding Holman’s replacement Wednesday afternoon, taking the first steps to advertise the position they hope to fill by July 1.

The Cabot board agreed on a salary range of between $135,000 to $175,000 for the applicant chosen as superintendent of the almost 9,000-strong district. The actual salary the new superintendent would receive will depend on prior experience and the size of a district the candidate was coming from.

The new Cabot superintendent, who would receive a three-year contract, would also receive $5,000 for moving expenses.
Holman, who is paid $172,695, has accepted the superintendent’s job at Lincoln Consolidated School District. (See editorial, p. 8A.)

Because Holman’s successor would step into the process of trying to rebuild Cabot Junior High North after the Aug. 10 fire destroyed the school, board members want someone with experience.

Board member Alan Turnbo said he would only consider applicants with a doctorate degree, but member Wendel Msall said that was just one thing that should be considered.

“Their track record and current school setting are also important, as well as having a PhD,” Msall said.

Board president David Hipp is placing an advertisement for the superintendent position in the Arkansas School Boards Association’s quarterly publication, the ASBA Reporter. The job opening will also be posted on the ASBA’s Web site, as well as the Cabot School District Web site, and the Arkansas Department of Education’s Website if allowed.

The board is also considering advertising the position with the National School Boards Association to open the field to more than just in-state superintendents. Because the board would like the position filled by July 1, the beginning of the fiscal (budgetary) year, the job opening will be posted as soon as possible.

“The quicker we get it in, the better off we will be,” Brooks Nash, school board secretary, said.

The ASBA’s “Handbook for Arkansas School Board Members” describes the job of seeking and selecting a superintendent as a “challenging task” and the board’s “most important single duty.”

“How wisely and well the board completes it (finding a superintendent) will determine in large measure the subsequent success or failure of the school system. Selecting the superintendent is of paramount importance because, as the district’s chief executive officer, the superintendent is the hub around which the entire school system revolves,” the handbook states.