Hunt for new Rock Hill superintendent moves forward

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comOctober 10, 2013 

The Rock Hill school district has scheduled meetings between superintendent search firm Coleman Lew & Associates and school and community leaders to assist in the process of finding a new leader.

School board Chairman Jim Vining asked the firm to meet with several groups, including teachers, district office staff and the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Parents were not specifically included on the list, but Vining said their voices are represented through school improvement councils, which were included.

The meetings will be held over the next month.

“It’s important for the consultant, when they go out and talk to prospective candidates, to know what the in-house stakeholders and the community think the good things are in the district and what the opportunities are,” Vining said.

After a series of closed meetings over the last few weeks, the school board voted to allow Vining to hire the Charlotte firm after hearing proposals from several companies.

Vining and Kenneth Childs, the school district’s attorney, said contract will be finalized when the school board meets Oct. 28.

Three representatives from the company will carry out the search – Janet DeLoache, Shana Plott and president Kenneth Carrick.

The meetings are part of a four-step process that Coleman Lew follows during any executive search, Carrick said. They allow the firm to learn more about the school district.

“Technical qualifications and experience is one thing,” he said. “The ability to fit into a community or an organization is another.”

Once Coleman Lew has gotten to know the district, he said, the firm will move on to identifying potential candidates. Ninety to 95 percent of candidates who are eventually hired with the help of his firm aren’t actively seeking to leave their current position, Carrick said.

The firm then will evaluate candidates who meet basic qualifications. After an initial vetting process, they will be passed along to the school board.

“We present those candidates to our client and the client becomes the sole decision maker,” Carrick said. “We move into more of an advisory role at that point.”

It’s a common misconception that search firms hire candidates, Carrick said.

There is no timeline for the search process.

Coleman Lew has performed one other superintendent search for a public school district superintendent, and that was for the Fairfield County School District in 2012.

Former Rock Hill Superintendent Lynn Moody left in September to become head of the Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina.

John Taylor, a former Rock Hill school administrator and former superintendent of Lancaster County schools, is the interim superintendent while the search is conducted.

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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