Starting Monday parents will have an opportunity to hear from three of the top four superintendent candidates, as the school board begins the interview process. The fourth candidate will be here March fourth. All the candidates will take a tour of the schools and then have a meet and greet with the public.
The schedule for each candidate is as follows: On Monday. February 25, Dr. Connie Hathorn, Youngstown from the Ohio Public Schools. She has been a superintendent since 2011 and has 5,900 students in the district . Hathorn received a doctorate from University of Iowa. On Tuesday, February 26, Dr. Stefanie Phillips from Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia will interview. Phillips has been a deputy Superintendent since 2009. The district has 52,000 students. Phillips received a doctorate from University of Southern California Wednesday, February 27, Dr. Dexter Suggs, Indianapolis Public Schools has been the Chief of Staff since July 2012. The district has 31,000 students. Suggs received a doctorate from Indiana Wesleyan University. Monday, March 4th, Dr. Walter Milton, Springfield, Illinois Schools has been a superintendent since 2007. The district has 15,000 students. Milton received a doctorate from University of Buffalo. Following a tour of schools, the candidates will have a meet and greet with LRSD parents, the general public, media, PTA Advisory Council, certified/non-certified employees, and union representatives on each of the above dates. The meet and greets will take place in the board room of the Little Rock School District Administration building, 810 West Markham, according to this daily schedule:
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - General Public and Media
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - PTA Advisory Council and Parents
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Certified/Non-certified Employees and
In addition to inviting input from the above-referenced stakeholders, the LRSD Board also appointed a 12-member advisory committee, representing a cross section of the community, to help in the selection process.
McPherson and Jacobson lead consultant Loe Dunn says the firm vetted all candidates by talking to references and getting additional references from those listed as references by the candidates. Additionally, candidates were screened based on a list of criteria and preferences as expressed by board members and a group of community stakeholders. Those criteria included requirements for candidates to have a doctorate, progressive experience in an urban school district and the ability to improve academic performance and student achievement, to name a few.
LRSD Board president Dianne Curry says she is confident in the process and believes the District will find the best fit for its new superintendent. "Next to setting policy, this is one of the most important decisions a school board can make," said Curry. "Not only are we looking for an executive with a proven track record, the Board is interested in someone who will be able to provide the necessary leadership to implement the Board's goals and who is a good communicator who will work well with students, parents, the community and other key stakeholders."