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Residents want 'excellence' in new superintendent

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Jonesboro resident, John W. Adams, believes Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré would make the perfect leader for the school system.

The name of Honoré, retiring commander of the 1st Army at Ft. Gillem, was greeted with nods of approval from some of the 40 Clayton County residents offering advice about who should be the district's next school superintendent.

"We need someone of excellence," Adams said. "Excellence surrounds itself with excellence."

Those in attendance said they wanted a superintendent who is virtuous, morally sound, has the will to stand up to the board of education, is a good communicator, and has some expertise with financial matters.

Information gathered from the meeting will be used to create a profile for school district's superintendent search. The firm of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, Ltd., will announce the profile at a Feb. 25 Clayton Board of Education meeting.

The firm held 17 meetings with residents, teachers, business leaders, community groups on Tuesday. Another 16 meetings will be from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., today at the Central Administration Complex, 1058 Fifth Ave., Jonesboro.

Dr. Richard Greene, who is leading the search, said his firm received 700 responses to a leadership survey on Tuesday. An additional 400 had already been turned in by Monday night, said Charles White, a spokesman for the school system. The search firm's record for responses was more than 1,000, during a search for a new superintendent for Kentucky's Jefferson County Public Schools.

"This is a great response," Green said. "I think the issues going on in the district at this time are encouraging people to become involved."

The district has not had a permanent superintendent since Dr. Barbara Pulliam resigned on July 23, 2007.