Amite County school trustees are reviewing applications from 13 people who want to become the district’s appointed superintendent.

This is the last year for Mississippi schools to have an elected superintendent. Scotty Whittington, who has served as superintendent since 2012, is leaving by the end of 2019.

Dr. Tommye Henderson, a consultant with the Mississippi School Boards Association, which is helping the district in its search for a new leader, revealed some information about the applicants, whom district officials are choosing to keep secret.

Henderson met with the board Sept. 18 to review the applications, which were from a wide range of professionals from inside and outside of education.

Three are current superintendents, three are program directors, four are school principals, one is a school counselor, one is an academic dean and one is a retired military officer.

Two applicants have a doctoral degree. Eleven are male and two are female. Eleven candidates are from Mississippi, one is from Alabama and one is from Louisiana.

The school board set the basic qualifications for the superintendent’s position and the MSBA produced a brochure advertising the position on its website with an accompanying application on June 12.

MSBA Executive Director Dr. Mike Waldrop reached out to more than 5,000 people announcing the opening of the search and asking for help to advertise for the position.

That announcement was also sent to the National School Boards Association. He then wrote personal letters to potential applicants he considers qualified.

The MSBA answered all inquiries regarding the position and provided a brochure on the application procedure and telephone and email responses to those who expressed interest. The application deadline was July 17.

Henderson led three meetings May 2 that included administrators, teachers, district staff, parents, community members and business owners. The MSBA put out a survey for those groups and summarized its results for the school board, which used it in its search for a qualified superintendent.

Whittington won the position in 2012 running as an independent candidate after losing the same election in 2008. Before being elected superintendent, Whittington taught history at Amite County High School.

Amite County recently received its third F rating from the state in four years and narrowly avoided being taken over by the state because of its slumping test scores last spring. 

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