The Bulloch County Board of Education has named Dr. Fran Stephens, an assistant superintendent, as the interim superintendent of schools until the board's search for a new system head is finished.
Dr. Lewis Holloway, the former superintendent, tendered his resignation Feb. 9 and remained with the system until Saturday to oversee the school year's end and graduation ceremonies. His accrued leave accounted for remaining days left on his contract, which will end June 30. The board's goal is to have a permanent candidate in place by Aug. 1.
Stephens, who is not a candidate to succeed Holloway, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the school system during this last phase of the superintendent search. She has worked 20 years for the district, including the past five years as assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for sixth through 12th grades and two years as the curriculum director. Before working in the district office, she was a language arts teacher for 13 years at Southeast Bulloch High School.
The board partnered with the Georgia School Boards Association in March to conduct a nationwide search for a new superintendent of schools. The board established a 14-week timeline and sought community input about candidate qualifications via an online survey on the district's website.
The GSBA sent promotional brochures announcing the position to its secondary and post-secondary leadership contacts. Boards of education are not legally required to conduct external searches and may use their own board-appointed attorneys in such matters; however, GSBA has helped the Bulloch County school board in securing superintendent candidates twice in the past 15 years.
The deadline for applications was May 4. GSBA delivered 33 applications to the board on May 21, and the board met in executive session with a GSBA representative that day to review the applications and narrowed the candidates to 10. Most of these candidates are from Georgia.
The board will meet in executive session again at 4 p.m. Thursday in the board room of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce, 102 S. Main St., to continue superintendent search proceedings. This meeting is closed to the public.
Under Georgia's Open Records Act, the board must release documentation with respect to as many as three persons under consideration before making a final decision. The finalists are also subject to financial and criminal background checks, and they must verify and document their work and education experience.
The new superintendent of schools will replace Holloway, who had served the district for five years. Holloway accepted a position in Mississippi, his home state, as superintendent of the Starkville School District.