By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Anderson Community Schools probably won’t name a new superintendent until next spring, and even an interim likely won’t be voted in until early October.
In the meantime, while former Superintendent Felix Chow has retired and moved to Michigan, Assistant Superintendent Beth Clark will be acting in his stead.
Clark, who oversees the progress of ACS’ academics, said she plans to approach the role of superintendent on an “as needed basis.” She’ll step in if an executive decision is needed, work directly with school board President Jean Chaille, address parent concerns or point them in the direction of an administrator who can help.
“Other than that, I see us carrying on,” she said.
And when Clark says “carrying on,” she means continued work on this year’s theme of improving instruction and keeping up on initiatives like the eight-step process.
She did note she wants to focus on communication between schools and parents and building community participation during her month or so with the added responsibilities.
Clark added, though, that she doesn’t have plans to run for the interim or permanent superintendent position.
“I’m happy where I am,” she said.
“Being superintendent is a full-time job,” board member Tim Long added. And Clark right now has her “hands full with a whole range of things” as ACS works on curriculum development, getting the Ebbertt Education Center ready to open as Anderson High School’s College and Career Readiness Center and continuing the eight-step process.
While he said Clark would do great in the interim position, she’s been “key in keeping that (the eight-step process) together and making it work.”
The interim, whoever it may turn out to be, will likely step in around Oct. 1, Long said. But to get to that point, it’s going to take a “lengthy process.”
“It’s not just a matter of coming to a decision this Tuesday night (at the monthly school board meeting),” he said.
The board will have to give notice of and hold a public hearing on the interim’s proposed contract before a person is even appointed in a public vote.
Long, who’s on the interim search board, said members have interviewed a couple of candidates and have a sense of the “direction we want to go, but at this point, nothing is finalized.”
Whoever takes over temporarily — with the possibility of becoming a permanent fixture — will be here until the end of the school year.
As for ACS’ next superintendent, Long said, the board will be opening the application process up to the public soon and expects to make an announcement by spring break — after another public vote for approval.
The Indiana School Board Association is helping the ACS board with its search by providing free guidance. When Chow was hired, the board used a university search firm, Long said.
This time, members wanted to do it on their own, he added.
The school board, he said, is looking for someone who’s “very dynamic,” preferably has superintendent experience and would get out into the community. Major systematic changes are not on the list, he added, as the district is looking for stability.
“We want to make sure we get somebody good,” Long said, and that’d be hard to do by Jan. 1.
Like Dani Palmer on Facebook and follow her @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.