The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously agreed to hire an executive search firm based in Iowa to lead the search for a new Oak Ridge school superintendent.
Ray and Associates Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will help lead the hunt for a superintendent to replace Tom Bailey, who is retiring at the end of the year. The company will charge a base fee of $15,500 plus expenses of up to $6,000.
Ray and Associates had been one of three finalists from a group of eight companies that submitted proposals. The other two finalists were Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates, based in Rosemont, Ill.; and the Tennessee School Boards Association, based in Nashville.
School board members said Ray and Associates, which has an office in Hendersonville, Tenn., will probably have a broad pool of potential candidates, and the company will provide a two-year guarantee.
The firm selected Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre, BOE Vice Chair Bob Eby said.
â€œI think Knox County has an excellent superintendent,â€ he said.
BOE Chair Keys Fillauer said Ray and Associates, which focuses on school executive searches, has been in business for more than 37 years.
Oak Ridge school officials have budgeted $30,000 to pay for the hunt for a new superintendent.
School board members said it is possible that they may not pick a new superintendent by January 2013, and an interim superintendent could be required.
“This is too important of a decision for us to be pushed into something,” Eby said.
Fillauer said he would call Ray and Associates today to inform them of the board’s decision.
Bailey has been superintendent since 2002.