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BOE sets salary, hires consultants for super search

By By MICHELE GERLACH – Publisher
The Escambia County Board of Education Tuesday set the parameters for hiring a new superintendent and agreed to retain the services of a consulting firm in the hiring process.
The board set the salary range for the new superintendent at $92,000 to $94,452. As has been board policy in the past, the board also will pay the superintendent's professional membership fees, and provide a vehicle and a travel allowance. The new superintendent will have a two-year contract.
There was disagreement among board members before they unanimously voted to contract with N and P Education Association to assist with the search by reviewing the applications of out-of-system applicants, recommending the top candidates to be interviewed. Board members have said they will interview all internal candidates who apply.
Both board member Richard Hawthorne and board member Chuck Brooks expressed hesitation at hiring the consulting firm, expected to cost $3,250.
Hawthorne said he was concerned that the board might not receive enough applications to warrant having N and P make recommendations and do background checks on the top out-of-system candidates.
Board member Donnie Crutchfield said he thought the consultants would be helpful.
Board member Danny Benjamin said, &#8220I hope the board is serious about conducting a statewide search. If you're not willing to spend this money, you're not serious about it.
Benjamin later repeated that he hoped the board was serious about a statewide search.
Hawthorne countered, &#8220(The consultants) are way up there in Huntsville and we're in Escambia County. How do they know what we need in Escambia County? We're the board.”
With Brooks, Hawthorne and board chairman Mike Goosby having questioned the need for the consultants and Benjamin, Crutchfield and board member W. J. Grissett speaking in favor of consultants, the board turned to fellow member Cereal Daniel of Atmore for an opinion.
The board then voted unanimously to hire N and P.