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EDITORIAL: Superintendent search must be transparent

Professionalism, accessibility and a passion for educating youths — those are the things needed at the helm of the Clayton County education system.

In many ways, public education is the backbone of a community, and it in all cases it is the future of a community.

As the Clayton County Board of Education begins its search for a new superintendent of schools, it is imperative they get it right.

Selecting the best candidate goes way beyond who performs best in an interview, who is the highest-profile candidate or who has the right connections.

This appointment is critical.

Public education in our county has come a long way and has a long way to go.

Challenges facing local education now has little to do with the quality of the educators in the classroom.

Actually, Clayton County is blessed with some of the best of the best highly-qualified credentialed teachers in the region.

Great teachers need solid leadership.

What’s more important is that our students deserve the best we can offer them as a community.

The board of education has a daunting task.

It is important, however, for them to understand they are not alone in this process.

Resources are available from the state department of education, to the state school boards association, to professional educators associations, but the most valuable resources can be found within the community itself.

The board would be well-advised to listen to teachers, listen to parents and listen to the community atlarge.

The more open and transparent the selection process is, the greater the buy-in will be incubated.

While it is extremely important that the BOE listen to its own community, it may be even more important they listen to the community where any potential candidates have worked in the past.

The very best of candidates could perform poorly in a pressure-packed interview.

The very worst of potential candidates could nail an interview if they are polished enough.

It is important to look beyond first impression and look more deeply into background.

Clayton County does not need to inherit someone else’s problems.

— Editor Jim Zachary