NEWARK – Education officials have identified four finalists in the search for a new superintendent.
According to Jonathan Cook, president of the Worcester County Board of Education, the board has selected two internal candidates and two from outside the county for a second round of interviews. Officials hope to make a decision before the end of the calendar year.
“This has been a rigorous process and I’m very pleased with how it has gone to date,” said Cook, who will be completing his 12th and final year on the school board this fall. “It has been a professional, well managed process. As I have told everyone throughout this process, people are watching Worcester County and we want to be proud of what we do here at all times.”
Interested candidates had until Aug. 15 to submit applications for the superintendent position. The board of education culled the applications and selected five candidates to interview. Those interviews took place Saturday, according to Cook, and four finalists have now been identified. Cook, pleased with the caliber of candidates being considered, expects the final round of interviews to take place in September.
“This is an extensive effort and we have a detailed application process to follow,” Cook said.
Before the final selection is made, Cook said a group of community leaders will be asked to participate in the decision by providing their input on the four finalists. Letters were sent this week to these individuals, who include elected officials, business owners and school system employees.
“It’s important to get our stakeholders involved in this process,” Cook said. “This community cares a tremendous amount for our school system and they should be part of this process. If all goes as we expect we think we should have a decision definitely within our calendar year’s fourth quarter.”
Jerry Wilson, the school system’s current superintendent, announced in February that he would not be seeking a four-year reappointment. Wilson, who came to Worcester County from Colorado in 2012, indicated at the time he didn’t want to spend another four years on the Eastern Shore.
“When I looked at all the things that I want to do in life, I looked at those four years and realized that it was beyond the commitment I was willing to make,” Wilson told The Dispatch at the time. “We have grandchildren in Colorado who touch my heart deeply and my daughter is in Wisconsin, so our family is spread out across the country.”
Wilson agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in place until the end of the 2016-2017 school year.