HPSD superintendent search continues

HPSD superintendent search continues
Hattiesburg Public School District. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The search for a superintendent in the Hattiesburg Public School District is one step closer to completion.

The process started with 31 applicants from multiple states and was narrowed down to 10.

Those few interviews started Thursday of last week, and finished Monday.

"The board just completed the first round of interviews with the initial 10 candidates who were selected from our applicant pool," said Jas N' Smith, Hattiesburg Public School District director of public relations.

The candidates were all interviewed in executive session that was not open to the public.

"They are mostly looking at their qualifications a little more closely and also what plans they have for potentially taking the district in a new direction," Smith said.

Interim Superintendent Greg Ladner has been leading the district since December, and his term will expire June 30.

The board is looking to find someone to handle the district after the resignation of James Bacchus and the financial struggles in 2015.

Smith said that the direction of the district and future plans is one of the topics discussed in the interview process.

"For the next step, the board will meet with them (candidates) again and they will have different sets of questions, a little more in depth, probably take a little more time with them than they did in the initial interview," Smith said.  "There isn't a set time yet on when the next round of interviews will start, but it should be sometime soon, especially with the board wanting to move forward with filling the position."

The board is hoping to have the next superintendent in place by July 1.