March 19, 2014

Rock Hill schools superintendent finalists to visit district next week

The three finalists for Rock Hill schools’ highest position will visit the district on March 25, 26 and 27.

The three finalists for the superintendent position in the Rock Hill schools will each visit the district next week in one of the final steps of the selection process.

Richard O’Malley, Kelly Pew and Tommy Schmolze will spend time on separate days visiting schools, meeting with the district staff and speaking to the media.

About 40 students, teachers, administrators and community members will participate in a forum with each candidate. Forum participants were selected by district staff and will provide written feedback on each of the candidates to the school board members, who hope to begin final deliberations on March 31, said board chairman Jim Vining.

O’Malley, superintendent of Edison Public Schools in Edison, N.J., will visit on Tuesday.

O’Malley’s district is the fifth largest in the state. Before becoming superintendent of the 15,000-student Edison district in 2010, he was superintendent of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Aberdeen, a much smaller district of about 4,000 students.

Before becoming a superintendent, O’Malley spent time as an assistant principal, principal and even served as mayor of Raritan Township, N.J., in 2009.

In Edison, O’Malley has led several major technology initiatives, including putting 16 Promethean ActivTables in middle school classrooms. ActivTables are interactive, touch-screen table surfaces.

On Wednesday, Schmolze, who lives in Rock Hill but works in administration for Fort Mill schools, will visit the district. Schmolze is Fort Mill’s assistant superintendent for administration and student services.

He began his education career as a coach and teacher in Rock Hill before working in administration for Clover and Fort Mill schools.

While in Fort Mill, Schmolze has managed anti-bullying, school safety, facilities construction, athletics and sports, student health and transportation programs, among others, according to Rock Hill school board member Ginny Moe.

On March 27, Pew, the third and final candidate, will visit. Pew has been superintendent of Pickens County schools for about two years, after serving as an associate superintendent in the district.

She previously worked or taught English in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Spartanburg county schools.

As Pickens County superintendent, Pew has overseen the last phase of a large building program, including construction of four new high schools, a technology center, two elementary schools and the renovation of three middle schools.

Rock Hill’s former superintendent, Lynn Moody, left the district in August to become superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina.

John Taylor, a former Rock Hill administrator and former superintendent of Lancaster County schools, has been serving as Rock Hill’s interim superintendent during the search process, which was assisted by by Charlotte-based executive search firm Coleman Lew & Associates.

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