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Madison Board of Education is continuing its search for a new superintendent while the Madison City Schools district is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CONTRIBUTED

Superintendent search ongoing during MCS closure

MADISON – Although classrooms and offices for Madison City Schools are now closed, the search for a new superintendent for the district is ongoing.

Robert V. Parker announced his resignation on Jan. 9 and indicated that his last day in the superintendent position would be Feb. 29. Parker led MCS for three years and had accumulated 31 years as an educator.

Madison Board of Education will conduct a regularly scheduled meeting on March 26 at 5 p.m. in the Central Office boardroom. At that time, the board will consider several points about the superintendent search.

“Currently, there has been no delay (in the search for a new superintendent), and the deadline to apply (was) still Monday, March 23,” Ranae Bartlett, president of Madison Board of Education, said. “At our last board of education meeting, we began discussions about how interviewing finalists will be different than we originally envisioned given the spread of COVID-19. (We) mentioned considering virtual options.”

“We are all trying to stay healthy, stay at home, and flatten the curve,” Bartlett said. “I was out (on March 17) to help hand out food at one of our elementary schools, and then visited both middle and high schools to thank everyone who was distributing devices to our students, keeping at a safe distance and wearing gloves.”

“We are very grateful to our essential staff who continue to work to keep students fed and electronically connected, schools clean and sanitized, payroll processed, and help us communicate with everyone,” Bartlett said.

In another outreach effort, MCS principals and teachers are offering encouraging messages “to our students to let them know we care about them and are offering enriching learning activities or ways to continue learning despite the school closure,” Bartlett said.

Interim MCS Superintendent Eric Terrell and his staff “are doing an outstanding job during this most challenging time. Our community and area churches are answering the call to help us keep our students fed,” Bartlett said. “We are all blessed and proud to be part of the Madison City Schools family.”

In the steps to secure a new superintendent, the school board appointed Terrell as Interim Superintendent on Jan. 23; this appointment was effective Feb. 29. School officials posted notice of the superintendent vacancy on Jan. 24, and applications were received through March 23. To gather public input, Madison Board of Education held meetings at Columbia Elementary School on March 3, City of Triana Town Hall on March 4 and Madison Public Library for a brown-bag lunch on March 5.

Originally, the board planned to interview finalists from April 20-22 and possibly on April 28 and then appoint the new superintendent on April 30.

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