Superintendent finalists to visit Rock Hill this week

03/23/2014 6:18 PM

03/23/2014 6:20 PM

After nearly six months of searching, the hunt for Rock Hill’s next schools superintendent might be in its final days as the three finalists for the position visit schools, meet with board members and administrators and get a chance to interact with students, teachers and residents this week.

The visits will begin Tuesday, with Rich O’Malley, superintendent of Edison Public Schools in Edison, N.J. – the fifth largest school district in New Jersey. O’Malley also has spent time as a principal and assistant principal, and as mayor of a New Jersey town.

Tommy Schmolze, Fort Mill’s assistant superintendent for administration and student services, will visit on Wednesday. Schmolze has worked as a teacher and administrator in Rock Hill, Clover and Fort Mill.

On Thursday, Kelly Pew, superintendent of Pickens County schools, will be the final visit. Pew has taught or worked in schools in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Spartanburg counties.

During their visits, each candidate will spend time with board members in small groups, school board chairman Jim Vining said, and their visits are as much about impressing the candidates as they are about the candidates impressing people in Rock Hill.

Interim Superintendent John Taylor will take each candidate to visit two Rock Hill schools. Each afternoon, a group of more than 30 students, teachers and residents will get a chance to speak with and ask questions of each candidate. Participants were selected by district staff members.

On March 31, Vining said, the school board will meet in closed session to discuss their time with the candidates, talk about what their references said about them, and read comments from residents.

Vining hopes the board also will make a final selection on Monday and begin contract negotiations.

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