School Board sets new round of interviews

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Suffolk School Board has set a new timeframe to conduct a second round of interviews for candidates seeking to become the division’s next superintendent.

At a special meeting at the School Administrative Offices Thursday morning, the board voted to interview candidates at an undisclosed location sometime over the next 15 days. Following the vote, the board went into closed session to discuss specific candidates.

The first round of interviews for candidates to replace Dr. Deran Whitney, who announced his retirement April 11 and officially retires Sept. 1, were slated for Aug. 14-28. Those interviews were also held at an undisclosed location.

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Though no names have been released, 36 people applied for the position, and 16 of them have current or prior superintendent experience. Another 11 are either assistant, associate or deputy superintendents.

Earlier this month, the board named Dr. LaToya Harrison as its interim superintendent and authorized a 25-percent pay increase for her while she serves as interim superintendent. Harrison, who will also be fulfilling her responsibilities as assistant superintendent, had been serving as the superintendent-designee with Whitney on leave.

The Virginia School Boards Association has been conducting the search for a new superintendent. The board has 180 days from the date of Whitney’s retirement to select a new superintendent.

The person chosen to lead Suffolk Public Schools will take over as the division recently reached full accreditation status for all of its schools.