School board interviewing candidates today

Grady County Board of Education members are sequestered in Thomasville today interviewing four candidates for superintendent of the county school system.
According to Board Chairman Drew Pyrz, the five members of the board met Sunday with Bill Sampson, consultant with the Georgia School Boards Association, from 2 p.m. until 7:40 p.m. at the VanLandingham Center reviewing the 34 applications for superintendent received by GSBA.
The GSBA staff had verified the educational background of the applicants and divided the applicants into four groups based on the qualifications set by the Grady County Board of Education.
Chairman Pyrz said the board reviewed all of the applications, but spent the bulk of the time reviewing 18 of them. The final two hours of the marathon session were spent preparing interview questions for board members to ask the four candidates being interviewed today.
According to Pyrz, six top candidates were highlighted, but the board decided four would be all they could interview in a single day.
The interviews began at 8:30 this morning and will conclude by 4 p.m. with approximately one hour sessions for each candidate planned.
GSBA made arrangements for the board to conduct the interviews at the main campus of Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville. The college is making available a board room and waiting room for use by the school board, Pyrz said.
“We plan to interview these four candidates, but that is not to say we will not interview the other two at a later date. We are also planning on second interviews for the finalists,” Chairman Pyrz said.
“We had a productive first meeting in the superintendent selection process, and the board members all worked diligently toward the common goal of selecting a new superintendent for our system,” Chairman Pyrz said.
The board had set a goal of hiring a new superintendent by April 15, but with the possibility for second interviews and next week being spring break, Chairman Pyrz said that is unlikely.
“We are not going to rush to make a decision. We will choose wisely and only after considering all of our options. Right now, we have four candidates we plan to interview and two alternates, but we haven’t thrown out anyone’s application at this point,” Chairman Pyrz said.
Superintendent Dr. Tommy Pharis announced in January his plans to retire July 1. Chairman Pyrz has said previously the goal of the board was to name a new superintendent before Dr. Pharis’ departure so the new superintendent and current one could work together for a smooth transition.

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