By Andy Ross

Killeen Daily Herald

SALADO - The Salado Independent School District is searching for a new superintendent.

The SISD's top administrative position opened up last month when William "Billy" Wiggins officially resigned as superintendent to accept a new post leading the Calhoun County Independent School District in South Texas.

In the wake of Wiggins' resignation, Robert W. Denton was named SISD's interim superintendent. He said this week the district hopes a permanent replacement will be chosen by spring.

"Hopefully a new superintendent will begin his or her duties in mid- to late May, so we are well under way right now," Denton said.

Denton said the school district has hired a consulting firm to handle the application process, which is open until Feb. 4. Meetings in late January with various stakeholders in the Salado community also are scheduled in hopes of developing a desired profile for a new superintendent.

The SISD Board of Trustees is expected to begin interviewing candidates in mid-February, said Denton, who went on to emphasize the importance of the task at hand.

"This is a very important decision; probably the most important decision a school board makes," he said. "Of course they (school board) set policy and adopt a budget and tax rate, but the hiring of a superintendent is definitely one of the major responsibilities."

Denton is not a stranger to his current position. In 2008, he filled in as SISD interim superintendent following the resignation of Robin Battershell and hiring of Wiggins.

"I've got a great deal of respect for this district," Denton said. "We've got a good school board and good staff and Salado is as good a place to be as any."

The interim leader acknowledged SISD would have liked to hold onto Wiggins for a longer period of time.

"I think it was kind of a surprise," Denton said. "We wanted him to stay a little longer, but knew it was a great opportunity for him to advance his career."

As of last week, more than 40 requests for SISD superintendent applications had been received, Denton said.

Contact Andy Ross at aross@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHeducation.

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