Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


January 12, 2013

Superintendent search — Public input critical in Tazewell

One of the most important jobs a school division will often have to undertake is the hiring of a new school superintendent. When a superintendent search is launched, public input into the process is always critical.

The Tazewell County School Board is now preparing to embark upon this all-important task. And the school board members are correctly making an early plea for public input into the process.

School Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lawson announced last October that she plans to retire this June. When she leaves her post, Lawson will be completing a 41-year career with the Tazewell County school system. Her first job with the school system was as an instructional aide. She later worked as a teacher, principal, and ultimately school superintendent.

Lawson has done a fine job leading the school system over the past several years, and is to be applauded for all of her hard work. But with her looming retirement, school board members must now begin their search for a new superintendent.

Mike Dennis, chairman of the school board, said the county is seeking public input about qualifications for a new superintendent both online and in person. A survey related to superintendent criteria is available at The online survey includes seven questions aimed at gauging public input on qualifications ranging from management and personal skills and superintendent priorities.

Hard copies of the survey will also be available at the school board administration offices. In addition to the survey, the board will conduct a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 21. The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Tazewell County Career and Technical Center student building.

“Hiring a new superintendent is the biggest task facing a school board and we want to make sure that the public has a voice in the process,” Dennis said earlier this week. “We hope that parents, staff and residents will take time to fill out the survey or attend the public hearing.”

We agree. All concerned parents, citizens, school employees and others should consider attending the Jan. 21 meeting to let the five elected school board members know who and what they are looking for in their next division superintendent. Parents and concerned citizens also should consider completing the simple seven question survey to help the school board members in their search for a new superintendent.

We wish the board members the best of luck in their superintendent search, and we remind the public to be involved in the process.

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