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School board members set parameters for superintendent search

McDuffie County Board of Education members held a called meeting last Tuesday morning to decide how they will conduct a search for a new school superintendent. McDuffie School Superintendent Mark Petersen turned in his letter of retirement on Wednesday, March 25, stating he will retire at the end of June.

The board invited William Sampson, a professional development specialist with the Georgia School Boards Association, to come and talk with them.

"And he did a PowerPoint and did a very good presentation on what it is we need to do," McDuffie BOE Chairwoman Georgia Hobbs said.

Mrs. Hobbs said the board made the motion and voted to let the GSBA conduct the search for them, just as they did five years ago when Dr. Petersen was hired.

"Because it's a long, drawn-out, time-consuming process," she said. "And in addition to that, there are so many things that you have to do within the law."

Mrs. Hobbs is the only member of the seven who was on board at the time Dr. Petersen was hired. She said at that time, she came in at the beginning of the search.

Although they handed the reins to the GSBA, the McDuffie board made a few changes to this newest search.

They are conducting an online survey for the public to offer input on what they'd like to see in terms of a leader for the school system. The survey is available on the school system's website at

"At least people will get the feeling that they had a chance to speak," Mrs. Hobbs said. "And a lot of times, people just want to be heard."

Another way for the public to offer their opinions to the school board will be through a public forum. The forum will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, at Thomson High School. Mrs. Hobbs, who is the Super District 1 representative, said the forum will be conducted by the GSBA.

"It will be done professionally," she said. "We're not going to have finger-pointing or name-calling. ... This is a legitimate thing about what it is the parents and general public would like to see."

After the local school board considers the information from the forum and online survey, they will form a list of the qualifications and certifications they are looking for in a superintendent.

Based on that list, the GSBA then will publish flyers to be posted online and mailed out in a nationwide search.


Offer your thoughts on the qualifications for McDuffie County's next superintendent at Click the "Important Information" banner in the center of the page.

Web posted on Thursday, April 09, 2009

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