Lawrence school board sets Jan. 29 goal to hire next superintendent, schedules public meet-and-greet times with finalists

The Lawrence school board has set the goal of hiring the district's next superintendent on Jan. 29. Form the left, the board is President Shannon Kimball, Vice President Jessica Beeson, Jill Fincher, G.R. Gordon-Ross, Rick Ingram, Melissa Johnson and Kelly Jones.

The Lawrence school district on Tuesday released a search timeline that tentatively has the school board announcing the district’s next superintendent on Jan. 29.

The timeline includes an opportunity for the public to meet and talk with the finalists for the position on Jan. 23, 24 and 25 at Lawrence High School, 1901 Louisiana St.

The timeline was developed after the school board talked by phone Monday with a representative of Ray & Associates about the search process and the six candidates who the board decided on Dec. 18 would be interviewed for the position, said Julie Boyle, the district spokeswoman.

The board will select finalists after interviewing the six candidates Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. Boyle said candidate interviews would start at 5 p.m. both days at the district office, 110 McDonald Drive. The board has scheduled a closed-door discussion with Ray & Associates representatives following the last Jan. 17 interview. Boyle said it has not been decided when the finalists would be announced.

Board President Shannon Kimball said Ray & Associates had followed up on its promise of providing a racially and gender diverse list of candidates for the board to consider.

“I’m very pleased with their effort to cast a very wide net in looking for a diverse list of candidates interested in being the leader of our district,” she said.

Kimball said Monday that the board could ask fewer or more than three candidates back for a second round of interviews. Therefore, the timeline’s meet-and-greet opportunities are tentative pending the number of finalists.

The meet-and-greet times in the timeline released Tuesday are:

• 5 to 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Lawrence High School cafeteria.

• 5 to 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Lawrence High School library.

• 5 to 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Lawrence High School cafeteria.

Kimball said those attending the meet-and-greets would have the opportunity to provide written comment on the finalists for the board to consider.

The board has scheduled an executive session to interview each finalist immediately after the candidate’s meet-and-greet event. Representatives of Ray & Associates will participate in the final executive session. The goal is to announce the new superintendent Jan. 29, but that announcement is listed as “tentative” on the timeline.

The person selected will start duties with the district on July 1.