Bibb Schools Superintendent search nears an end as finalists are slated to be named


Bibb Schools

Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones is set to retire in June 2022.

The Bibb County Board of Education is set to announce finalists for the next school superintendent Thursday evening at the end of its regular monthly meeting.

A total of 33 applied for the job by the Jan. 16 deadline. State law requires the board to make public the names of 1-3 finalists no fewer than 14 days before the board votes on a hire. That means it will be at least early May before the new superintendent is named.

The board has reviewed applications and completed two rounds of interviews, Georgia School Board Association Communications Director Justin Pauly said. The board held two closed-door meetings in March that lasted about eight hours each, according to minutes set for board approval Thursday.

The search for a new superintendent began in October when the board contracted the Georgia School Board Association to help find a successor to Superintendent Curtis Jones, who is set to retire at the end of June after seven years with the district.

GSBA offered an online survey on behalf of the board to garner public input on the kind of person the community would like to see lead its public school system. The survey results made clear a dichotomy of opinion: A desire for the next superintendent to come from within the district versus a preference for an outside hire.

Two preferred internal candidates were mentioned by name in survey responses: Tanzy Kilcrease and Julia Daniely. Kilcrease is the district’s current chief of staff. Daniely is the lead administrator for the VIP Academy. Results from the survey were obtained by The Macon Newsroom under the Georgia Open Records Act and published here for the public to access.

The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce also made a public recommendation of its own to the school board.

In a newsletter earlier this week, the chamber’s interim President and CEO Ron Shipman opined the school board should pick a district employee for the school system’s top job.

The chamber “recommends the appointment of a vastly qualified internal candidate,” Shipman wrote. “A candidate who understands the local demographics and can continue to build, attract and retain workforce talent for the businesses in our county.”

Shipman harkened back to “disastrous” decision the school board made a decade ago in hiring now disgraced former school Superintendent Romain Dallemand. Dallemand’s tenure of 28 months ended with the board buying out his contract. In the years that followed, a criminal saga played out in federal court trials and civil lawsuits related to the defrauding of the school district of millions of dollars through bogus purchases.

The school board is set to announce finalists toward the end of its 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Professional Learning Center on Riverside Drive.

To contact Civic Journalism Fellow Laura Corley, email [email protected] or call 478-301-5777.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of finalists a school board must announce two weeks before the final vote. The school board may release as many as three names of finalists.