VALLEY SPRINGS — A total of 15 people submitted applications for the Valley Springs School superintendent job that will open in June and the Board of Education heard some recommendations on candidates Monday night.
Current Superintendent Judy Green’s contract was extended through the 2019-2020 school year and she had told the board she would retire at the end of the contract in June.
Applicants for the position were:
• Dr. Jeffery Davis of Van Buren, Missouri.
• Tommy Flud of Harrison.
• Dr. Tom Graves of Abingdon, Virginia.
• Toni Hopkins of Paris.
• Clinton Jones of Nashville.
• James Jones of Cotter.
• Deanna Klaus of Jordan.
• Dr. Kyle Mallett of Harrison.
• Amy Manns Gasaway of Harrison.
• Charnelsa Powell of Piggott.
• Jimmy Ray of Alma.
• Donald Rhodes of Rosenberg, Texas.
• Zane Venderpool of Gravette.
• Brandi Wallace of Black Oak.
• Nathan White of Star City.
The school board had chosen the search firm McPherson & Jacobson L.L.C. to help with the search. Company representatives Megan Slocum and Kieth Williams were at Monday night’s board meeting with information regarding the candidates.
Slocum said she and Williams had reviewed all applications and Williams said they had spoken to a minimum of 15 people in checking out each one.
The first recommendation to the board was Davis. Slocum told the board that Davis has been known as dependable and a problem solver, even working through some tough fiscal situations. He is originally from Arkansas and wants to return.
The next recommendation was Klaus. Williams said Klaus excelled as a math instructor, but she has also been a coach, a bus driver, a technology coordinator and numerous other positions in the educational system. She has become known to catch on to school finance quickly and understanding the needs of a small school district.
The third recommendation was Mallett, assistant principal at Harrison Middle School. Williams explained that Mallett has been known as an outstanding teacher and coach, but was notably an outstanding classroom teacher. He is driven, very organized and has a strong work ethic, Williams said, adding that colleagues describe him as “a kid magnet.”
The fourth recommendation was Vanderpool. Slocum said his references indicate he is ready for the job and can work with parents, even those who aren’t engaged in the system, to make the school a better place. His word is his bond and that is a rare commodity these days, Slocum said.
The final recommendation was White. Williams said White has been heavily involved in school finance and was even an EAST Lab facilitator. He is also in the process of finishing his doctorate. Williams said White actually worked in the private sector as a fireman and doing construction before going back to school. He was once principal at Omaha and was known to do anything it took to fix a problem.
As the board prepared to retire to executive session to watch videos the five candidates submitted, Slocum told board members that they could choose to discuss any of the candidates they wished.
Board chairman Chris Graddy said the board decided after executive session to interview Mallett, Vanderpool and White. Those interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and next Monday.
The board will then meet at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, to make a final decision to offer a contract to the winning candidate if one is chosen after interviews.
The board also voted to give all employees a $250 Christmas bonus. Green had said the board has given $100 bonuses in the past.