Superintendent Search Continues

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari
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October 20, 2005

Two local school systems are both searching for new superintendents. But Charlottesville and Albemarle County have both taken different approaches to finding the right person for the job.

Both school systems are making progress but one seems to be moving along a lot faster than the other.

Charlottesville's search for a new superintendent began back in April of 2005, after embattled superintendent Dr. Scottie Griffin resigned.

Albemarle County began its search two months later when long time superintendent Kevin Castner announced his retirement.

"We have a very public process in terms of input and feedback," said Sue Friedman of the Albemarle County School Board.

"Our process is one that we feel balances the need for community with the need for confidentiality," said Julie Gronlund, Chair of the Charlottesville School Board.

Albemarle County is further along in the hiring process. Thursday, four months into their search, behind closed doors school board members reviewed applications from possible candidates.

"Application deadline was October 14. [They had to be] postmarked by October 14," said Friedman.

While six months into their search, Charlottesville school board members reviewed a report describing the qualities and qualifications of the person they should be looking for.

"We want someone with a strong educational background. Someone who is a great communicator who can work with a diverse student body as well as a diverse community," said Gronlund.

The next step for Charlottesville is to recruit qualified candidates, while Albemarle County is set to move into the interview process.

We also spoke with a former Charlottesville school board member who said the city's search is taking entirely too long, that today's study was, in his opinion, unnecessary because the school board had already done a similar study before hiring Dr. Scottie Griffin, and that the openness of the process is making qualified candidates apprehensive about applying.

The county is hoping to have a new superintendent in place by December, and the city hopes to have made their choice by February.

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