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'Pulling in the same direction': Bibb School Board starts hunt for new superintendent

The nationwide search for a new Bibb superintendent is now underway, and school leaders say it won't be an easy process.

MACON, Ga. — A national Superintendent of the Year award, a 20 percent increase in graduation rates, and a contract extension -- that's what the successor of Dr. Curtis Jones will have to follow.

After six years, the Bibb County School Board is on the hunt for a new superintendent.

With Dr. Curtis Jones's retirement announcement last week, school board president Daryl Morton says they're officially on the clock.

"We recognize as a board how important this decision really is. We already feel the pressure to make the best decision possible and that's why we can't do it alone. That's why the board can't do it alone, you do need professionals helping you conduct that search process," says Morton.

He says during next week's board meeting, they'll begin hearing presentations from groups like the Georgia School Boards Association hoping to help find a candidate.

The association helped land Jones for the district back in 2015.

Morton says this time around, they're hoping there's a large applicant pool to choose from.

"I think Bibb County's a desirable place for a potential superintendent to be. I think we're doing a lot of really good things, we have really good synergy with the community and also business interest as well. I think we're all pulling in the same direction."

So what qualities are they looking for?

Morton says they're not particularly looking for a Dr. Jones replica, but someone who has some of his traits.

He says those include strong leadership, strong representation of the school system, and most importantly, the ability to handle the pressure of the job with composure.

"In many ways, be a calming influence, particularly in the difficult times we've had dealing with COVID where we're worried about keeping children and staff safe and at the same time, educating students and there's so many challenges and it seems like every day, there's something new you have to deal with," says Morton.

Dr. Jones's contract expires in June 2022.