School Board to Discuss Candidates Tomorrow

by Dalton Main on June 13, 2011

The Jefferson County School Board will meet tomorrow to discuss the two finalists for Superintendent, board Chair Steve Imhoff says the board will set a timeline for making a decision at that meeting.

Last week the finalists appeared at public forums to answer questions from citizens. Following the second forum, local NAACP president Raoul Cunningham called on the school board to reopen the search saying neither candidate was qualified to handle the issues facing local schools.

Imhoff, however, says he does not want to reopen the search and did not comment on whether or not that was a possibility from the board.

Cunningham particularly criticized Dr Donna Hargens who served as interim superintendent of Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina while that district investigated a new student assignment plan. However, Hargens says the plan wasn’t in development when she served.

“We just did preliminary work in terms of helping the board with the data that they requested and helping what at that time was a student assignment committee with the data they requested,” said Hargens “so no we weren’t that far along, there was no plan.”

Cunningham maintains that she should have had some contact with the plan as she continued to serve as Chief Academic Officer for the district after the new superintendent was selected.

The Jefferson County Teachers’ Association declined to comment on either candidate or their qualifications, but noted that the organization did have representatives involved in the search.

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