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UPDATE: Hamilton Co. school board elects new leadership; superintendent search begins

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Hamilton County School Board members began the process of searching for the next superintendent during a special session on Tuesday night. The board will hire a search firm to find the right candidates.

It will cost tens of thousands of dollars to find the next superintendent, but board members said the price is worth finding right person.

"I want the best leader we can possibly get. Someone who can inspire greatness within our teachers, our administrators, and our students," said Dr. Steve Highlander, School Board Chairperson.

Board members heard from three search firms. One will be tasked with finding a pool of candidates for the job.

"All three groups are interested in transparency and community involvement, and I think those things are essential," said Highlander. "We want to get the most talented person for the job."

The Tennessee School Board Association, based in Nashville, would charge $30,000 for a national search that would take 6-8 months.

The second firm, out of Nebraska, McPherson & Jacobson LLC, would charge $26,900 plus expenses.

The third finalist, Coleman Lew & Associates, is out of Charlotte. Their bill is $60,000 plus expenses.

While some are looking for an educator, others want a business person. Board members said it's a new beginning for the school district.

"We need to build on what we've had from the past, and try to improve. We can never stay stagnant," Highlander said. "We have a lot of room for improvement."

In other business, the board voted Dr. Steve Highlander as its chairperson and Karitsa Jones as vice-chair.

Board members also unanimously approved buying new land next to Ooltewah High School for new sports fields.

The board will discuss selecting a search firm and possibly vote on it at Thursday's meeting.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: Members of the Hamilton County Department of Education elected new leadership Tuesday night.

According to the Unifi-Ed, Dr. Steve Highlander has been elected chairman.

Dr. Highlander will replace former chairman Dr. Jonathan Welch, who was defeated by Kathy Lennon for the District 2 seat.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Kathy Lennon defeats incumbent for Hamilton County School Board District 2 seat

The group says Karitsa Jones (formerly Mosley) has been elected vice chairwoman.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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