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Applicants for McCracken superintendent narrowed

By JASON MORROW jmorrow@paducahsun.com

The search for the next superintendent of McCracken County Schools has been underway more than a month, and the screening committee is narrowing down the list of candidates.

Butch Canty, a Kentucky School Board Association consultant, said the screening committee received 20 applications before the cutoff date, five of which were incomplete and had to be discarded.

Of the 15 valid applicants, 13 were men and two were women. Seven were currently superintendents. Five were central office employees. Two were principals, and one was of "an educational organization."

Fourteen of the applicants were from Kentucky.

Canty said there has been a lot of turnover in the superintendent market across Kentucky the past four years.

McCracken had a healthy number of applicants, Canty said. "You had 15, and compared to other searches that I'm doing, that's a good number, a healthy number."

The screening committee is still narrowing down the candidates based on criteria set by the board and hasn't reached the point of three to five finalists.

The committee should soon finish screening the applicants -- a process that looks at a candidate's professional experience through a paper screening, then "everything on the internet that we possibly can find out about our candidates. We're in the process right now of reference checking," Canty said.

Once the board is satisfied with the three to five candidates chosen by the screening committee, interviews will be scheduled.

Canty will work with the board to develop interview questions and keep them the same for all candidates.

"You want to make sure you're comparing apples to apples," he said.

Canty said a decision should be reached by the middle of May, and the new superintendent will then be announced.

Current superintendent Quin Sutton's contract will end June 30, and the next superintendent will begin July 1.

The screening committee consists of two teachers, Crystal Culp of McCracken Regional School and Lori Hyde of Lone Oak Middle School; one board member, Steve Shelby; one principal, Brent Buchanan of Lone Oak Middle School; one parent, Dan Pope; one classified employee, Larry Zacheretti; and one minority representative, Cheryl Moore.

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