By Chris McGuinness
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - Copperas Cove school board trustees hammered out a tentative timeline to select the district's next superintendent at a special meeting Monday, with a goal of having a new top administrator in place by June.
The members met with representatives of Educations Solutions & Services Inc. to discuss the process of vetting and hiring a replacement for current Superintendent Rose Cameron, who will retire from the district at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
"We take looking for a superintendent very seriously," said Mike Smith, the firm's chief executive officer. "It is an open process. Everything starts from scratch."
School board president Joan Manning said the board hoped to hire a new top administrator by June.
According to Cameron's voluntary exit agreement with the district, her last working day will be June 15. After that she will be available on an "as needed basis" to assist the district with the transition to a new superintendent until June 30.
While the board and its consultants are searching for Cameron's replacement, they also plan to let district staff and members of the public have their say.
The trustees scheduled "superintendent profiling sessions" later this month. Smith said his firm will host two such events in which staff and members of the public will be able to openly discuss what they are looking for in the district's next superintendent.
"We just let the community come in and say what's on their minds," Smith said.
The staff session will take place at 4:30 p.m. March 22, and the session for the community will take place at 6 p.m. that same night.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District posted an open call for applications for the position on its website two weeks ago, and the board decided it will continue to accept applications until March 30. Smith said the district already had received "some applications" as well as phone calls from potentially interested parties.
Smith's firm, which is being paid $10,000 for its services, will then whittle down the applications.
The board scheduled an initial round of interviews for potential candidates for April 10 and 11, and a final round of interviews on April 20 and 21.
The board anticipates naming the finalists for the position on April 23 and officially hiring CCISD's next superintendent at a special meeting the week of May 14.
Smith said all dates after April 4 are tentative, and could change.
While the board sets out to find her replacement, Cameron's voluntary exit contract revealed that she will not only be paid her regular base salary through June 30, but also will receive additional compensation as part of an employee early retirement notification incentive program that she recommended the trustees pass in November.
According to the district's Incentive for Early Notification of Resignation program, employees with five years of service to CCISD will be eligible for a one-time incentive payment equal to 10 percent of their 2011-12 base salary, and $70 for each day of accumulated local leave, not to exceed $12,500.
Cameron's current contact with the district pays her $150,000 annually, meaning the potential payment under the program could be $15,000, not counting pay for any accumulated leave.
Cameron recommend the board pass a resolution to create the program at a Nov. 21 special meeting as a way to combat potential layoffs as a result of deep budget cuts to state education funding.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.