NewPort, Ky Needs a Whole New School System!

- The job for a new superintendent in Newport Independent Schools will be posted in early November, according to interim superintendent Pamela Rye.

Rye will serve in the position through the end of this school year.

The board of education is using the services of the Kentucky School Boards Association to find candidates for the job. The KSBA has aided other Northern Kentucky districts in superintendent searches in recent years, including Boone County Schools and the Kenton County School District.

When the job is posted, a screening committee of teachers, parents and administrators will be assembled to review applications and recommend candidates to the school board.

Rye said the plan is to have someone chosen by March and ready to take over on July 1, 2012.

Rye became interim superintendent a few weeks ago after Dan Sullivan resigned. Sullivan, a former superintendent in the district, came out of retirement in June to serve on an interim basis after Michael Brandt retired.

Rye had been the assistant superintendent under Brandt and had retired on June 30.

"I was still trying to decide what I was going to do in retirement when they called me," Rye said.

She said she is not a candidate for the job.

"I can answer that for sure - I'm going to let somebody else fill the position," Rye said.

The district has undergone major changes since Newport High School was named a "persistently low-achieving" school last year. A state audit in the spring resulted in the replacement of several school and district leaders, and in the high school receiving a federal grant for $770,117 to help turn the school around academically.

The grant is being used in several ways, including in the hiring of two education recovery specialists, the purchase of books and software, professional development opportunities for teachers and providing bus service for taking students on college tours.

The hope is that the new superintendent will be taking over a district on the rise. Susan Allred, the Kentucky Department of Education's director of education recovery for the eastern part of the state, said last month that she expects the high school to show signs of improvement as early as February.