BOE should consider search firm

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

With Mike Looney’s acceptance this week of the contract offered him by the Williamson County (Tenn.) School Board, the Butler County Board of Education will meet Thursday night to discuss appointing an interim superintendent and beginning the search for Looney’s replacement.

It is a tough task ahead of them.

There are few — if any — positions in Butler County more important than superintendent of schools.

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For the most compelling evidence, look no further than the children in our community.

There is also a strong economic tie.

When searching for new locations, businesses and industries look at the quality of public education in prospective communities. Those already established in Butler County need well-educated and trained people coming out of our public schools.

It is essential Butler County’s public schools are lead by the right person, someone with energy, enthusiasm, a passion for education and a vision for the future.

Without a doubt, the local school board did an excellent job when it chose Looney following an internally led search. The state of education in the county has certainly improved during his tenure, and we applaud the board for bringing him to our county.

Now the monumental task of replacing Looney is in the hands of the board.

We would like to encourage our school board to consider hiring a search firm in its efforts to find a new superintendent.

While our board members certainly have a unique insight into the needs of the county, an outside entity might offer additional resources and a search free of political pressure.

While there may be qualified candidates from our own backyard, the best person for the job may just as well be from outside familiar territory.

Williamson County’s discovery of Looney through a similar search firm and his subsequent hiring are an interesting case in point.