Tulsa School Board Narrows Their Search For Superintendent

Sunday, July 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools is one step close to selecting a new superintendent.

The School Board whittled down a list of 44 down to five Saturday.

The four men and one woman will come to Tulsa this week for interviews.

The day began at eight for school board members, who first gathered for a training session on how best to interview superintendent candidates.

The session was lead by Human Resources executives from Williams, which is paying search-consulting fees.

Board members went into executive session at ten and returned around four hours later with their list of five candidates.

Finalists are: Dr Peter Gorman, Chief Operating Officer of Business and Finance, Orange County, Florida, Public Schools, Dr Andre Honrsby, Superintendent of Yonkers, New York, Public Schools.

Also, Dr. Joan Kowal, Former Superintendent of Palm Beach County, Florida, Public Schools and Bob Moore, Superintendent of the Amarillo Independent School District.

Finally, Dr David Sawyer, Superintendent of Brevard County, Florida, Public Schools rounded out the finalists.

The search presented its recommendations for the top six candidates.

Board President Ruth Ann Fate said the board rejected two of those choices and added one to come up with a list she called "exemplary."

"Every single one of them have done extraordinary things in the districts they're already from," says Fate.

The search committee says the five finalists have the qualifications the district is seeking in a new superintendent including the ability to work with a diverse school population.

"They seem to have a pretty close fit with some of the criteria that the board selected through the focus group earlier this spring. So we're seeing things in the experience of these candidates that look like could be a good fit for us,” says Doug Dodd, Tulsa School Board.

Fate says the board has some overriding concerns as it evaluates candidates for the final choice.

"One is what kinds of achievements have they been able to accomplish, what kinds of relationships have they been able to build in the community, how well do they work with the community, how well do they work with people and how knowledgeable are they in the field of education?" says Fate.

The board declined comment on the fact that Interim Superintendent Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly is not among the finalists, or whether she applied.

They say they're pleased the search attracted such a large field of qualified applicants, and are eager to meet the contenders, one of whom they hope will be in place by August 5th.

For more on the search, tune in to Six in the Morning Monday, when school board member Doug Dodd will talk about the search process.