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School board chooses

The board of trustees met briefly Thursday evening to discuss hiring a new superintendent for the Hazlehurst City School District.

During a 45 minute closed session the board voted unanimously to tender a contract to Dr. Jerry Wayne Woods as superintendent of the Hazlehurst City School District for the 2007-2008 school year.

Board president David Huntington reported that Woods is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee. He comes highly recommended and meets all the criteria, Huntington explained. Woods earned his PhD from Ole Miss and has previously served at two high performing small school districts.

If Woods accepts the Hazlehurst district’s offer, the school board hopes he can start as soon as possible. If he declines, the board will have to look at other applicants or continue the superintendent search.

The Hazlehurst schools have been looking for a permanent superintendent for about a year and a half. The board hired the Mississippi School Board Association to search for qualified candidates and make recommendations to the district.

“This has been a tedious process,” remarked Rev. Martin Washington, school board member. “I promise you, we haggled a lot, we argued and fussed, and we made up. We tried to do what’s best for the district.” Washington added that the board also discussed the need to let the new superintendent run the district without inteference, and to “stay out of his business.”

Other business handled during Thursday’s brief meeting included hiring Chris Bell as assistant technology coordinator.

The school board will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, January 30, to discuss personnel matters.

UPDATE: At Wednesday’s meeting the school board announced that they are still looking for a superintendent. After a lengthy discussion in closed session, a motion to hire another applicant failed on a 2-3 vote, and another motion failed due to lack of a second. Interim superintendent Robert Boone’s last day on the job was Thursday, January 31.

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