The Madison County School Board is moving forward with finding a new superintendent through a national executive recruitment and development team.
Dr. Ronnie McGehee, superintendent of Madison County schools, recently announced that he is stepping down after this semester.
“We’ve already started the process very preliminarily,” District 4 representative Philip Huskey said. “McPherson and Jacobson is leading the search, and we’ll be in contact with them the whole time.”
McGehee was originally appointed interim superintendent in 2010 and then was elected to serve his first official term as superintendent in 2011. He was reelected in 2015.
As part of Madison County schools for a total of 21 years, he’s previously served as assistant principal, lead principal and deputy superintendent for the district.
McPherson and Jacobson is a nationwide firm, and the district will place advertisements in a number of publications, according to Huskey. School district officials will also hold meetings with teachers, parents and faculty.
“(We want) to get input from the people we serve about that they want to see and what they think is important,” he said.
McPherson and Jacobson will collect resumes and bring forward a slate of options for district officials to review within the coming months.
“The board will whittle that down further to a number of candidates we want to interview. We hope to have the process completed by the middle or end of May.”
Huskey said the board expects some out-of-state interest.
“We’re looking for the person who will best fit what we need for Madison County schools. We’re really looking for the best candidate.”
Superintendent McGehee said he’s stepping down because he wants to give the board time to acclimate to a new law. His current term wouldn’t formally end until December of next year.
“A law was passed that changed superintendents who are elected must become appointed by 2020,” he said. “I could have stayed until December 2019, but there would be 52 county elected superintendents still practicing. I figured it would be better for the district if I left early so they could have options on who they could appoint.”
Any formerly-elected superintendent who vacates the position prior to the end of their term allows the district board time to appoint the successor.
McGehee said he’s doesn’t have any specific plans for after he steps down, but he’s open-minded about the future.
“I don’t know of anything specific, but I’m looking forward to future opportunities. My time in the county has been fantastic. I couldn’t ask for better teachers, students, principals and communities.”
McGehee said he plans to stay in Madison County, where he’s lived since 1994 and attended church since 1991.
“I believe we’ve established the blueprint for public education in the state… This is a great county with some great folks… It’s a great place to be.”
McGehee said he wants to leave the school district while he’s happy with what he’s been able to accomplish over the past two decades.
“My goal has always been to leave a place better than I’ve found it. There have been too many educators I’ve seen retire mad, and I’m going to choose to retire glad.”