Middlesboro Independent Board of Education and a representative of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) has officially launched the search for a new leader for the school district.
The search process is necessary after the announced resignation of Dr. Rita Cook, who has led the district for the almost four years. She was hired after several weeks of deliberation by the board of education at that time to replace Darryl Wilder who retired. Cook came from Salina, Kan. She received a four-year contract to expire on June 30. Her annual salary was set at $110,500.
In a board meeting held on Friday, it was explained that the applications for superintendent are being handled by KSBA — an impartial third party — in the process. And, with this search, KSBA has begun something new, requiring that all applications for the position be submitted electronically.
Advertising for the position is not scheduled to begin until March 8. However, the board members learned from the KSBA representatives that one application has already been received.
The representative for KSBA explained the process for the establishment of the screening committee. The committee will consist of six or seven representatives, depending on the parent representative vote.
Due to the percentage of minorities in the school system, a minority parent has to serve on the committee. If a minority is not elected to the panel among the first six members, then an election must be held to name a minority to the committee.
The screening meeting by law must include the following:
- A board member who is appointed by the chair of the board of education;
- A principal who is elected by principals. A principal interested in applying for the position should not serve on the committee;
- Two teachers who are elected by teachers through the district’s teacher’s association;
- A classified staff member nominated and elected by classified staff;
- A parent elected by the presidents of the parent teacher organizations at each school;
- A minority parent elected by all parents if a minority is not selected as one of the committee members in the above criteria.
The board reviewed, amended and approved recruitment and advertisement materials proposed by KSBA.
Board members stressed during the process that their number one priority in this search is to name a school chief who will strive to raise student achievement.
The first joint meeting of the board and screening committee is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 9.
Reina P. Cunningham can be reached at email@example.com or 606-248-1010, ext. 205.