The St. Tammany Parish School Board expects to have applications for the vacant schools superintendent position in hand and ready for review within two months, according to Elizabeth Heintz, the School Board’s point person in the search.
Heintz, who represents School Board District 2 in the Covington area, created a timeline she shared with colleagues at the Human Resources and Education Committee meeting as a whole Thursday night.
She said pending the board’s vote at its regular monthly meeting on July 9, the superintendent’s position will be advertised in both local and national publications, including some geared specifically to educators, beginning July 19. Information also will be placed on digital platforms, including the St. Tammany Parish Schools website, stpsb.org.
The timeline notes applications must be postmarked by Sept. 1 to be considered. Each candidate’s qualifications and certifications will be verified and those that have the right credentials will have their applications given to School Board members on Sept. 4 for review. Interviews would follow, though when they’d take place was not established in the information shared on Thursday.
The committee gave unanimous preliminary approval to move forward with the search.
The school district must find a successor to Trey Folse, who spent 10 years as the school district’s superintendent before departing July 1 to become superintendent of system relationships for the Louisiana Department of Education.
Heintz, who is the longest-serving member of the School Board, discussed best practices to begin the search during a conference call earlier this week with Robert Hammonds, a Baton Rouge-based attorney who serves as general counsel to the Louisiana School Boards Association. Interim Superintendent Peter Jabbia, School Board President Michael Nation and Lori Niehaus Comboy, the school district’s Director of Human Resources, also were on the call.
District 3 board member Michael Dirmann noted that one of the criteria for superintendent applicants is that they pay their own expenses if they are invited to St. Tammany to be interviewed.
“This will be my third superintendent (hiring process as a school board member),” Dirmann said. “At one time, it seemed like it was a paid vacation for a lot of applicants. They just roamed the country interviewing at different school positions. I think if someone wants this position, I really like that they have some skin in the game.”
The board awarded Folse a two-year contract extension in May that was to pay him $236,295 annually, including an automobile allowance and benefits. He spent 35 years in the St. Tammany education system, including 10 as superintendent.
St. Tammany is the state’s fourth largest school district, with 55 schools, nearly 6,000 employees and more than 39,000 students. The district had an operating budget of $439 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
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