The top four prospects were recommended by the search firm McPherson and Jacobson from an initial pool of nine.
Individual interviews will be conducted through Wednesday of this week and on Monday of next week.
The schedule for each candidate is as follows:
Monday, February 25th
Dr. Connie Hathorn, Youngstown, Ohio Public Schools
Superintendent since 2011
Received doctorate from University of Iowa
Former associate superintendent at Youngstown (2010) and former executive director of student support and 19-year veteran of Akron City School District
Tuesday, February 26th
Dr. Stefanie Phillips, Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia
Deputy Superintendent since 2009
Received doctorate from University of Southern California
Former deputy superintendent of 34,000 student Chino Valley, California Public Schools
Wednesday, February 27th
Dr. Dexter Suggs, Indianapolis Public Schools
Chief of Staff since July 2012
Received doctorate from Indiana Wesleyan University
Former chief information officer, former high school and middle school principal and former coach
Monday, March 4th
Dr. Walter Milton, Springfield, Illinois Schools
Superintendent since 2007
Received doctorate from University of Buffalo
Former superintendent in Flint, Michigan and Fallsburg Central School District in New York
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 Union Representatives
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."
About McPherson and Jacobson
Endorsed by the Arkansas School Boards Association, McPherson and Jacobson is an Omaha, Nebraska-based executive recruiting firm which boasts of being the largest educational consultancy firm to provide services in Arkansas, placing more than 85% of the state's superintendents. Since 1991, the firm has provided expert assistance with hundreds of local and national searches.