The Dawson County Board of Education has begun its search for a new school superintendent.
During Monday night's regular called meeting, the board heard a presentation from Jim Puckett, a development specialist with the Georgia School Boards Association, offering its assistance in the effort.
"The process of filling the vacancy is extremely important," he said. "Georgia law does not require this system to do a superintendent search, but what you do legally and what's appropriate ... and what you owe your community and staff is something else."
By conducting a search, it "becomes a community effort," according to Puckett, enabling the board to get a better idea about the qualifications of the candidates and gather feedback from staff.
"Even if you employ someone within the system, you can tell the community that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person chosen ... is the best person for the job," he said.
The association can provide logistical services to allow the board to continue functioning without having to use its own time and central office staff as resources.
It would compile a list of potential candidates using criteria and qualifications set by the board and then help whittle it.
"By law, [the board] ... alone has the authority to decide who the next superintendent of the schools will be," Puckett said. "It is your decision, and we will certainly not make that decision for you."
While no formal action was taken, the board decided to use GASB's services to begin the process of finding a successor for outgoing Superintendent Keith Porter.
Porter, who has spent 30 years with the school system, the past five as superintendent, announced his retirement Dec. 9.