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The search begins

With Suffolk Public School Superintendent Milton Liverman’s retirement on the horizon the School Board has a plan.

Deputy Superintendent Deran Whitney will serve as the interim superintendent as of July 1, the School Board announced Thursday night. He said his plans to apply for the superintendent’s position are undecided.

“My primary goals while acting superintendent are to continue move forward with goals, to raise student achievement scores and close our achievement gap,” Whitney said, after the announcement.

The Suffolk Public School’s School Board met earlier on Thursday to discuss the process of hiring a new permanent replacement for Liverman.

Liverman announced his resignation on April 28, after 10 years as superintendent and 36 years in the system. His last day will be June 30.

The Board has until Dec. 1 to hire a new superintendent.

Applications for the position will be accepted through Aug. 16. On Aug. 19, the Board will meet early to discuss applications and decide which individuals to interview, and in the interest of taking public opinion into account, it will hold a public input session on July 8 at 7 p.m.

“I feel like we have made a good start in our process,” School Board Chairman Lorraine Skeeter said.

Members decided to limit the search to educators who hold a superintendent’s license in the commonwealth of Virginia.

The search is being limited to Virginia, at Liverman’s suggestion, because “those who are working in Virginia understand the unique requirements we have,” Liverman said.

Those who hold licenses can include high school administrators, central office and non-central office employees and assistant superintendents. Universities such as the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech encourage all their doctoral students in the educational program to complete the courses to be licensed, Liverman explained.

There are four or five individuals within the Suffolk system who have the license and 708 individuals statewide.

The board decided to immediately secure the list of names and addresses from the Virginia Board of Education and to send invitations to each person to apply for the open position.

Liverman’s is one of five retirements in the central office, another being Assistant Superintendent Lynn Cross, who is also retiring as of June 30.

Liverman said Cross’s position will not be filled as part of the restructuring of the central office. A report on the restructuring of the central office will be presented the School Board’s June 10 meeting.