By Jean Cole
Limestone County school board members have decided to interview all five of the finalists hoping to be the next superintendent of county schools.
During a work session Thursday, which was called to determine whether to interview all the candidates or just two or three, Board Member Earl Glaze said he had narrowed his choice to three candidates and named them. He said that after doing “quite a bit of research” by talking with people and searching online, he would like to interview Zebbra Green, current interim superintendent and elementary curriculum director for Limestone county Schools. He also mentioned Dwight Pullen, assistant professor and partnership coordinator at Central Michigan University and former superintendent of Chattooga County Schools in Georgia from 2007-11; and Leonard Westbrook, assistant superintendent for Independence School District in Missouri from 2005 to present and a consultant for Keystone Information Systems in New Jersey from 2005 to present.
No other board member voiced his preferences.
The other two candidates are Thomas Michael Sisk, human resources supervisor for Baldwin County Schools from 2003 to present, and Joe David Walters, superintendent for Tuscumbia County Schools from 2007 to present.
Board Members Charles Shoulders said during the work session he preferred interviewing all five candidates.
“When you interview you get a different picture than what I’ve gotten when I’ve called people (references on a resume),” Shoulders said. “I would like to interview all five to make sure I am not just going on information from references.”
Board Member James Shannon agreed, saying,” We could look at resumes and be wrong. This way, you can come away with one you like best – that suits you.”
Board Member Marty Adams said he only wanted to interview four of the five, but would agree to interview all five. Board members Glaze, Anthony Hilliard, Bret McGill and Board President Darin Russell agreed on interviewing all five.
Russell told the board he will ask Kendy Behrends of the Alabama Association of School Boards — the search consultant the board hired for $12,500 —to schedule the interviews May 7, 10, 14, 15 and 17. If these days mesh with the candidates’ schedules, the interviews will be held on those dates at 6 p.m. for all but the May 7 interview, which will be at 6:30 p.m.
The board has not determined in what order the candidates will be interviewed. Nor have they decided the list of questions they intend to supply to the candidates and ask during interviews. They will discuss that during a work session following their regular monthly meeting May 1 at the Clinton Street Courthouse Annex in Athens.
Board members did agree to have each candidate tour the county schools the morning of his or her interview, eat lunch with the board, take a break and then interview.