By Chris McGuinness

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - A New Braunfels-based consulting firm will help the Copperas Cove Independent School District board search for a new superintendent.

At a special meeting, board members voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Education Solutions & Services Inc. for $10,000 to assist in selecting a replacement for retiring Superintendent Rose Cameron.

"We will probably start (the process) in the first week of March," said Joan Manning, president of the school board. "We don't really know how long it will take."

Mike Smith, chief executive officer at Education Solutions, said the firm would help the board find candidates who would fit with the district's mission and goals.

"We will spend quite a bit of time with the board, staff and the community to determine what the district's visions is and find the right person and personality for that vision," said Smith.

The school district isn't the first one to use a consulting company to help it search for a top administrative position.

The Lampasas Independent School District board enlisted the services of Horn, Smith, Wood & Preston LLC in Terrell to find and hire Superintendent Randy Hoyer. The Killeen Independent School District paid about $5,000 to Dallas-based School Executive Consulting Inc. when it hired Superintendent Robert Muller.

Katie Rudesheim, spokesperson for the Cove district, said the school board didn't use a consulting firm when Cameron was hired in 2005.

James Smith, a partner with Horn, Smith, Wood & Preston, said firms like his often handle posting requests for applications, conducting background checks, setting up interviews and providing some training to help boards make their decisions.

"We take care of a lot of the administrative footwork, and it allows the board to focus on looking over these candidates and making the right choice," he said.

James Smith said his firm submitted a proposal to the Cove district, placing the cost of its services at $9,000.

As part of accepting Cameron's resignation, the board also voted to approve a written "exit agreement."

Manning said the agreement was drafted by Cameron's attorney and approved by the board's legal counsel but did not give any further details. "It basically says when she leaves," she said.

Cameron said her exit agreement is "similar" to that of her predecessor, Glenn Acker.

A request to view Cameron's agreement was pending at press time.

Contact Chris McGuinness at (254) 501-7568 or

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