Mon BOE requests help in superintendent search

MORGANTOWN — Show of hands: How many of you would like to play a in role in the hiring of the next superintendent of Monongalia County Schools?

If your hand is up, the county Board of Education (BOE) wants to hear from you.

With the meter running on the search to replace outgoing Superintendent Frank Devono, the board is now looking for people from all walks across Morgantown and Monongalia County to serve on committees that would help select any possible candidates for interview.

Devono, who was hired in 2005, announced his retirement two weeks ago.

In order for the BOE to be able to offer a multiyear contract, his replacement, as stipulated by state code, must be on the job by June 1.

The job of the committee would be to work through resumes and curricula vitae of any possible applicants recommended by a recruiting firm yet to be hired by the BOE.

If you would like to serve on such a committee, or committees, you may contact Beth Harvey at 304-291-9210, Extension 1530; or

BOE members are also personally seeking out committee candidates and hope to have a pool of names for consideration during its next regular meeting, April 10.

In the meantime, the BOE is also in the business of hiring a recruiter, board president Barbara Parsons said.

The board will begin advertising online for a recruiter today, in fact, and will also begin placing ads in other media in the coming days.

BOE members spent more than an hour April 3 discussing time tables for the superintendent hiring, which Parsons stressed are still tentative at this point.

Right now, the board is looking at the possibility of three-to-five candidates from which to select for a mid-May hiring date.

Parsons said she believes the bulk of applicants will come from either West Virginia or the immediate surrounding region.

May 29 was one date considered to have an applicant slotted for a job offer, but longtime board member Nancy Walker worried aloud that the date “might be cutting it too close” to the June 1 deadline for a multiyear offer.

“What if we have to negotiate something?” she said.

Parsons, who helped conduct several national job searches during her previous career, in human resources and personnel management, cautioned the board to not let June 1 cast too big a shadow over the proceedings.

When Devono was hired, she said, he was initially given a one-year contract — “And it worked out.”

Devono also offered to stay on in an interim basis should the search run past the preferred hiring date, Parsons said.

She said there are other worthy people in administration ready to do the same.

“I don’t want to ‘settle’ because we have a deadline,” she said. “I’d rather have the right person.”