An executive search firm has narrowed down the list of superintendent candidates to seven finalists, and the Oak Ridge school board plans to interview three of them Tuesday.
The three are:
- Bruce Borchers, superintendent of the Rockwood School District in Eureka, Mo., which has 22,000 students;
- Dale Lynch, superintendent of the Hamblen County Schools in Morristown, which has 10,300 students; and
- Keith Rowland, superintendent of Shenandoah County Public Schools in Woodstock, Va., which has 6,250 students.
Decisions about whether to interview the other four candidates will be made after Tuesday’s interviews at the School Administration Building on New York Avenue, Oak Ridge Board of Education Chair Keys Fillauer said.
“We haven’t ruled anybody out yet,” he said.
The other four finalists are:
- Susan Compton, superintendent of the Russell Independent School System in Russell, Ky., which has 2,250 students;
- Kathryn Leroy, director of high school programs for the Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Fla., which has 125,000 students;
- Timothy Setterlund, assistant superintendent of the Shelby County School District in Memphis, which has 50,000 students; and
- Rick Williams, assistant director of administrative services for the Education Service Center in Dallas, which serves 80 schools districts and 400 staff members.
Oak Ridge has about 4,400 students.
Fillauer said the candidates expressed interest in Oak Ridge’s high-quality educational system, the district’s reputation, and the outstanding staff and class curriculum.
He said executive search firm Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received about 78 applications for the superintendent position by the March 1 deadline. That was up from about 50 applications in the initial search that started last summer, Fillauer said.
That first attempt to find a new superintendent ended after four of five finalists withdrew last year.
Fillauer said the number of applications could have increased in this second round because the board is interviewing applicants on a “more normal timetable,” hoping to hire someone at the end of the year rather than in the middle of the year, and members also increased the potential salary range, from roughly $140,000 to $150,000 to about $175,000.
The school board hired former superintendent Bob Smallridge as interim superintendent in January. Smallridge was Oak Ridge schools superintendent from 1978-1998.
Fillauer said the board hopes to have a new superintendent by June 15. Smallridge’s contract ends June 30.
The last superintendent, Tom Bailey, retired at the end of the year. He had been superintendent since 2002.