Leader Blues

Saturday, January 23, 2010

TOP STORY >> Four finalists picked for PCSSD’s top spot

By NANCY DOCKTER
Leader staff writer

The Pulaski County Special School District school board on Thursday selected four finalists for the position of district superintendent. The four include acting superintendent Rob McGill and three other school superintendents from out of state.

There had been 12 applicants for the position, which will pay an annual salary in the range of $175,000 to $200,000. Besides McGill, two other Arkansans applied – James Best of Jonesboro and Bettye Wright of White Hall.

McGill has served as acting superintendent since last March when James Sharpe resigned under pressure by the school board.

PCSSD is the second largest school district in the state with 17,700 students.

The school board chose the four from among five candidates recommended by McPherson & Jacobsen, an Omaha,Neb.-based executive-recruitment firm that is being paid $20,000 to assist with the search for a superintendent.

The board plans to begin interviewing the candidates the first week in February and have the new superintendent on board no later than July 1, said Tom Cameron, chief officer of the search firm.

The four candidates are:

• Charles Hopson, who has been a teacher and principal in Portland, Ore., schools and currently serves as a deputy superintendent of the district, which has an enrollment of 46,000 students. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in elementary education and holds a doctorate in educational policy and management.

• Rob McGill, who has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal in PCSSD. In 2009, he left his post as principal at Pine Forest Elementary to serve as acting superintendent. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UCA and a master’s degree in elementary school administration.

• Roy Pugh, who has served as superintendent of five Texas school districts, ranging in enrollment from 825 to 16,100 students. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a doctorate in educational administration and supervision.

• Vashti Washington, who has been a middle school teacher and principal and now serves as the associate superintendent for Charleston, S.C., public schools, which has an enrollment of 43,000 students.