June 1 is not etched in stone.
But every effort is being made to put the search for a new Monongalia County Schools superintendent to rest by then.
With 31 days to go, a 19-person committee, five Board of Education members and one professional search firm are working in earnest to do that.
On March 20 superintendent Frank Devono announced he was retiring, effective June 30.
This job search comes at a heady time of transition for the school board itself that is already facing a major turnover. The seats of two of its members who are retiring are on the primary ballot, while another is seeking re-election.
Still, BOE members have made it clear the decision to hire a new superintendent won’t be clouded by a deadline.
The reasoning behind the June 1 date is, per state code, that date is the latest a three-year contract can be offered. The board can only offer a a new superintendent a one-year contract after that date.
We are not privy to the workings of the private search firm the BOE retained to assist in this search. Nor are we privy to that of the committee of local residents.
However, last week this committee did meet and as we reported this weekend, we know its members’ names. Judging by that list of names it is apparent a lot of thought went into the selection of this cross section of people.
After reviewing these names, we are glad to note that we barely recognize half of them, which is a good thing. They are not all public officials, per se, or “movers and shakers” in this community.
Rather, they are stakeholders in the schools, namely parents, teachers, administrators and so on. Other of the members’ walks in life range from a minister to a financial adviser and a professor.
Perhaps what is even more encouraging than the makeup of this group is how many people applied to be one of its members
More than 50 county residents’ names were under consideration for a seat on this panel.
This committee’s roster and the many who applied to be on it speaks well for our community.
At times, the support for public education in this county appears almost inestimable.
Facilities, benefits for teachers, transportation, test scores and more consistently stand out.
Some may question the time frame in which this search for a new schools superintendent is being conducted.
But there can be no question that this committee represents the best interest of education and our community.a