Wednesday, January 22, 2014

School board welcomes new Superintendent, begins search for replacement

by Matt Hughes
J-E News Editor
Last Tuesday’s Webster County School Board meeting was not only the first meeting of 2014, it was also the board’s first meeting with new Superintendent Pete Galloway. Galloway was appointed at the December 16, 2013 meeting following the resignation of long time school board superintendant Dr. James Kemp.
“It’s been a month since you gave me the chance to do this job,” said Galloway. “At that time I did not know one person in Webster County. Since then I have had the chance to meet a lot of people.”
He told the board that what has impressed him the most was an event he had attended at Providence Elementary on the last Friday before the Christmas Break.
“Mickey Dunbar and I were both at a send off for a little girl who was given a wonderful opportunity by Make-A-Wish,” Galloway said. “The kids at that school...I can’t tell you how appreciative it made me to see how much they cared about that little girl. I guarantee if you asked them at the end of the year to name the top five thing that happened during the school year, that would be on every list.”
Galloway will only fill the superintendant’s chair until the board selects a permanent replacement, which is expected to be in the early summer. Until then he has been tasked with overseeing the search for his replacement.
He told the board that he began to process soon after being appointed. Applications for the Superintendant’s position will be taken through the end of February. Meanwhile, Galloway has been working to assemble the screening committee that will conduct the initial interviews with candidates.
According to Galloway the committee will be made up of two teachers, two parents, and administrator and one person of the board’s choosing. Due to the minority population in Webster County, one of those six people must be a minority. If the initial six does not include a minority representative, then the parents will have to elect one.
“Once the committee is chosen, I will meet with them and go over the guidelines,” Galloway said. “They will screen the candidates but it will be up to the board to tell them how man candidates to send on to you.” 
He told the board members that they would have an opportunity to address the committee, but asked if they had any specific things that they wanted to instruct the committee to look for.
“I would like someone with experience as our new sup,” said Leland Steeley, the Sebree area board member. “Someone from a successful school who has been an integral part in that success.”
“Experience,” agreed Venita Murphy from Providence, stressing that she was not looking for a first time Superintendant.
“Someone that can inspire our district and create a culture where people want to come to school and work,” said board chairman Jeff Pettit. “We did not get where we are over night, but we need to get it turned around over night.”
The remainder of the meeting was all the formalities of approving bills and personnel. This included approving a salary change for the WCHS assistant baseball coach. At the request of new head coach Zack Traylor the $1,000 stipend normally spent on an assistant coach will be split to pay two assistant coaches ($500 each).
At the next meeting, on Monday, January 27, 2014, the board expects to hear from a representative of the Kentucky School Board Administration about the new “e-meeting” format the board has adopted.

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