Dougherty County School Board members Velvet Riggins, right, Lane Price and Robert Youngblood are shown at the conclusion of Tuesday’s called meeting where the interviewed Colquitt County School Superintendent Sam DePaul as a possible permanent DCSS chief. (Herald Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — The Dougherty County School Board moved a step closer to finding a permanent superintendent during a called meeting Tuesday where the board interviewed current Colquitt County School chief Samuel DePaul for the position.
The search committee on the whole spent nearly two hours in closed session interviewing DePaul, who has served as Colquitt County’s school superintendent since July 2012.
When the session was finally reopened to the public, DePaul had slipped through a back exit moments earlier and was not available for comment.
Board members, who have been searching for a permanent superintendent since opening applications January, used the phrase “the process” liberally in post meeting interviews with the media.
“The board has been working very hard to make sure we followed the legal process in finding a superintendent,” board member Darrel Ealum said.
“The process has gone great and as long as we continue to stick with it, I think the community will be proud of the results,” said board member Velvet Riggins.
Lane Price agreed.
“The process has worked quite well,” Price said. “We had quite a few number of applications to go through, but I think we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
DCSS attorney Tommy Coleman said, “(The Board) has been conducting this search according to what the (state) code requires.”
Board Chair Carol Tharin has confirmed that another called session is set for Monday morning at 8:30 during which the board could name as many as two finalists — likely DePaul and interim Superintendent Butch Mosely — for the position. The board also has the option of naming just one finalist.
After announcing the finalist(s), state law mandates a 14-day waiting period before the board can take a final vote on the matter. That vote will likely come at a called session at the end of this month or early April.
The DCSS has been without a permanent superintendent since former chief Joshua Murfree stepped down in December of 2012. Mosely has been interim superintendent since January of last year.
The local school system received 24 applications for the permanent superintendent’s position, but DePaul was the only candidate interviewed.
According to thesnaponline.com, DePaul, a native of Rochester, Pa., arrived in Colquitt County after serving eight years as superintendent of the Stanly County School System in Albemare, N.C. Before that, he was superintendent for three years at the Penn Hills School District in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ambridge Area School District in Ambridge, Pa., and the Rochester Area School District in Rochester, Pa.
Since the DCSS search process began, Mosely has made no secret of his desire to remove the “interim” from his title. However, he has not filed a formal application for the position, but has said he would take the job if offered by the board.