Superintendent application deadline extended to August

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 29, 2022

SALISBURY — The application window for those looking to become the next superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools has been extended until Aug. 1.

The RSS Board of Education originally set the application to close on May 16. Board Chair Dean Hunter said the district received eight applications by the original closing date.

“We feel like if we extend it we may open up the pool of applicants, give people a little longer,” Hunter said. “Of course summer time is here so things are different, but we feel like we’re in a good place and stable right now with the interim.”

Chief Academic Officer Jason Gardner was appointed interim superintendent after Tony Watlington resigned from the position on April 15. Watlington takes over as superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia in June.

Hunter said the board was not unhappy with the applicants, but dissatisfied with the number.

“The more you get, the better opportunity you have to research and see who’s the best fit,” Hunter said. “This is the most important decision a board ever makes, so we want to make sure we do due diligence and give people the opportunity to apply.”

Hunter said the board is still planning to host community forums on the superintendent search, but the timing would be later in the summer close to the time applications close.

“People like myself are going on vacation and we want to extend that so we can potentially have some community feedback,” Hunter said.

The search is being managed by Raleigh education law firm Tharrington Smith, which provides the board’s representation as well.

Michael Chapman, a school board hopeful for the southeast area seat, spoke to the board during its Monday meeting and implored the board to hold off on the appointment with the November general election around the corner.

“There may be a few new faces on the school board,” Chapman said.

He said he does not see any hurry in appointing a superintendent the new board may not like.

“You have a very competent replacement sitting right over here that can fill in until the vote is over,” Chapman said, referencing Gardner.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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