Little feedback at public hearing

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Just one person spoke during a public hearing Tuesday at King’s Fork High School on the search for a superintendent to lead Suffolk Public Schools.

After board chairwoman Phyllis Byrum waited several minutes for someone to speak at the start of the public hearing, Warren Agey came to the microphone.

Agey, who worked for Suffolk Public Schools for 30 years, said it wasn’t just a school system, it was a family. He asked that the School Board consider someone who is either from Suffolk or knows the city school division well.

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“I strongly suggest that you hire somebody that’s familiar with Suffolk Public Schools and its inner workings,” Agey said.

No one else among the four citizens at the hearing chose to speak, though residents recently had a chance to complete a survey on what characteristics they wanted to see in a new superintendent. The survey was posted online, and paper copies were available at city public schools and the school administrative offices through Monday at 100 N. Main St.

The School Board has hired the Virginia School Boards Association to conduct the search for someone to replace outgoing superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney, who is retiring Sept. 1.

The board will meet again at 7 p.m. today, Wednesday, at City Hall to establish the qualifications members want to see in a superintendent.

A job announcement for the superintendent position will be posted from July 1 through Aug. 2, and will be followed by a meeting to discuss specific candidates with the VSBA at 11 a.m. Aug. 7 at the College and Career Academy at Pruden. That meeting will go into closed session.


Timeline for superintendent search

Today — School Board meeting to establish qualifications in a superintendent, 7 p.m. at City Hall.

June 27 — School Board to provide qualifications to the Virginia School Boards Association.

July 1 to Aug. 2 — Superintendent application process open.

Aug. 7 — School Board to meet with VSBA at meeting, which would go into closed session to discuss specific candidates, 11 a.m. at the College and Career Academy at Pruden.

August/September — Anticipated first interviews with superintendent candidates.