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And then there were five.
Paris Independent School District trustees have winnowed a field of about 40 superintendent candidates down to their final five, who are scheduled for interviews this week.
“It was pretty difficult,” board President George Fisher said. “We spent a lot of time getting there. I know I spent 20 hours looking over the material.”
Fisher doesn’t expect this week’s series of meetings to go any easier. They’re scheduled for sessions at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for “board interview and discussion of superintendent applicants,” according to the agendas. A third meeting is set for noon Friday for “discussion of superintendent applicants.”
Follow-up interviews are expected in early February, with a vote to name the finalist scheduled for Feb. 11.
The board narrowed its list at a closed meeting Jan. 9 that lasted more than three hours. Curtains were drawn and the glass doors blacked out, presumably for extra privacy, although Fisher said “they were like that when I got there,” and he did not know why the steps were taken.
Each board member had a list of his or her favorite six candidates, which were put on a board and discussed until an overall list of five emerged.
“Their qualifications look good,” Fisher said. “The way they interview will probably carry a lot of weight.”
The school board has hired consulting firm Executive Search Services, part of the Texas Association of School Boards, to help with the search process for a new superintendent. Paul Trull is set to retire this summer.
“I think the consultants are doing a great job,” Fisher said.
Before the interview meetings, the board has its regular session at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The agenda can be found here.