ROSEDALE – The Board of Trustees of the West Bolivar Consolidated School District could not agree on what process to take for their superintendent search at a regular school board meeting on Thursday.

After a 30-minute debate among the board members and a five-minute recess, the board made a decision to postpone the discussion about a superintendent search until a recessed meeting scheduled next week.

Everette Stanton, president of the board, told the board they should come up with a process for their search.

He then asked the question, “Do we want to do it?” in regards to the district controlling the process instead of bringing in an outside firm to do the work.

Pamela Tucker, board member, said she thought it would be best for the district to conduct their own search.

“That’s my suggestion. I think we should start from the inside and work our way out,” said Tucker. “I think we know what it is that we’re looking for. We’ve tried other entities, we’ve tried outside people, and we need to utilize the expertise that we’ve gained in the process that we have partaken in.”

However, Stanton disagreed.

He went on to say the task wouldn’t be easy and he doesn’t feel the district is equipped or prepared to handle their own search.

“I don’t think we have the resources to do it,” Stanton said. “At this point, in this stage, I don’t think we’re ready to try to do a superintendent search. We know a lot, and we’ve learned a lot, but there’s a lot that goes into it.”

Tucker explained why she felt the district could do their own search. Having gone through the process twice before, Tucker said it’s not easy paying someone, relying on them, and explaining to them what it is the board is looking for in candidates.

“We’ve been involved with the two, but not to the magnitude where we really understand the process,” said Stanton. “We know what we want, but do we know how to get there?”

If the board hosts it own search, the process would be slowed down, said Stanton. With two months to find a new leader, Stanton said the board needs to get the process going to have someone in place for the children and the district.

“Let’s go ahead and decide what we want to do and get this ball rolling,” he said.

Tucker suggested the board should consider an in-house search instead of an outside search first, wanting to make sure they look at what they have already before hiring an outsider. However, Stanton said whoever they select to do the search, they can negotiate their stipulations including the application process in their contract.

After a five minute recess, the board agreed to call three outside entities to make a presentation to the board about the search process.

“I want to make sure we’re on the same accord. I don’t want us to leave here split,
said Stanton.

The board fired ex-superintendent James Waldington-Johnson effective immediately at a special called meeting last month.


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Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale, and was a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She was also a weekly news co-host on WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and collaborator with StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Aallyah has a bachelor’s in journalism with minors in communications and theater from Delta State University. She is a 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report, and co-founder of the Mississippi Delta Public Newsroom.