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Gainesville superintendent interviews to begin in March
Brett Mercer
Brett Mercer

The head of the Gainesville City Schools Board of Education said he’s not ready to say yet whether a new superintendent will be hired from a pool of 30 applicants or whether the search would be expanded.

Board Chairman Brett Mercer said following Monday’s regular meeting that he and his colleagues would likely have a better idea when the first round of interviews are held early next month.

Mercer said school officials met on Saturday to look through all 30 applications that were submitted by a Feb. 3 deadline.

In September, current Superintendent Wanda Creel announced her resignation effective at the end of this school year.

Her announcement came at the height of a fallout over the rolling out of plans for a new Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy. Some in the community complained that the plans, which would eliminate the iconic Smartville garden, built and funded through a communitywide effort, were not effectively communicated.

Mercer said interviews with candidates will be held on successive Saturdays, March 4 and March 11. He said the board is working on setting aside another date for interviews.

However, Mercer said he was not prepared to say how many candidates would be interviewed next month.

Asked whether the board could select a new superintendent based on the applications they looked at Saturday, Mercer would not commit.

“We’ll know a lot more when we get to talk to some of these people,” Mercer said.

Board members have indicated they would like to have a new superintendent hired by April.

King Cooper & Associates, a consulting group hired by the board to help in the search, said earlier this month that the pool of candidates includes superintendents, central office administrators, assistant superintendents and principals.