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Gainesville school chief search moves forward
Process almost open for applications for superintendent
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The search for the next Gainesville school superintendent is ahead of schedule, and ready to open the application process.

At a called meeting Friday, the board of education approved a draft of qualifications deemed necessary, as determined by focus group meetings and questionnaires filled out by a variety of school system stakeholders, principals and the school board members.

Current Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer has announced plans to retire this school year. The school board expects to have her replacement hired by January so the two can work together through April 2014.

There is a list of qualifications, including holding a Georgia Leadership Certificate at the L-6 level or higher and experience as a classroom teacher. Also preferred is experience in a superintendent and principal role.

Jim Puckett with the Georgia School Board Association was at Friday’s meeting to share survey results and the proposed qualifications.

“We are to the stage now where we are ready to get the board’s permission to go ahead and do the advertising for the position,” Puckett said.

Final results for the most recent focus groups was not available, but Puckett said he would compile those numbers later in the week.

“If there’s any major differences in what this focus group said, I’ll let you know,” he told the board.

Puckett presented a brochure the association puts together during superintendent searches, which includes information about the school system, qualifications for the position and information on the application process.
With board members Sammy Smith and David Syfan absent, a quorum was declared and present members Willie Mitchell, Delores Diaz and Maria Calkins voted to move forward with the drafted brochure and qualifications.

The brochure is expected to be distributed the week of Aug. 19, with an application deadline of Sept. 30. The interview process would begin mid-October.

The school board association has a mailing list of 1,400 individuals who will receive the brochure. All current superintendents will also receive the information, as well as colleges and universities that prepare school administrators.

The job notice will also be posted on a variety of websites, including the Gainesville school’s website at
Applications will be collected by the Georgia School Board Association. They will be presented to the school board for the interview process.

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