Dr. William A. Hunter and Dr. Samuel P. Light were named as finalists by the board of education during the Feb. 6 meeting.
The board is required by law to make public documents on the candidates available to the community for copying and inspection at least 14 calendar days before it makes a final decision.
“The board reviewed results of a survey of the community and the school system staff, adopted qualifications, approved and disseminated a recruitment brochure, reviewed applications and interviewed candidates that appeared to have closely met the qualifications,” board chair Jane Holbrooks said.
Holbrooks said the board received 31 applications for the vacancy. Eleven candidates were chosen for review and five for interview from the applications received.
Hunter, Light and a third candidate who asked to withdraw from consideration, were the finalists chosen by the board to present to the public.
Hunter is a former superintendent of McIntosh and Brantley counties in south Georgia. According to his resume, he received his doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas in 1990.
Hunter has been a member of the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force and a member of Georgia’s School Delegation to Study United Kingdom School Finance.
He stated that a successful school system starts with open and effective leadership.
“The board of education must work with stakeholders to provide a common vision for success,” Hunter said. “The superintendent must work collaboratively with building-level and system-level leaders to ensure the board’s vision is met.”
He does not list a current employer on his resume.
His resume packet does include a letter written by Harold A. Webster, III., identified in the letter as the 2012 McIntosh County Board of Education chair. The letter states that Hunter and the McIntosh County School Board decided to part ways after disagreements over a personnel issue. The letter states in part: "I asked him [Hunter] to resign in a work session and he refused but said we could work out a mutual separation agreement. We did this and he resigned effective June 30, 2012. I wish this could have been handled differently because there was speculation in the community that Dr. Hunter had done something wrong, which was not true."
Light is currently a superintendent for the Illini Bluffs Community Unit School District in Glasford, Ill. He previously served as superintendent in Elbert County schools in Georgia.
Light received his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in 2010, according to his resume.
In his community, Light is involved in teaching Sunday school and coaching little league baseball.
He stated on his philosophy of education was that a successful school system must focus on the students first.
“School systems that educate teachers to reach every student improve the quality of education delivered,” Light said. “Teachers that utilize differentiated instructional techniques have the tools to reach every student.”
The Polk School Board began the search for a new superintendent in September after Marvin Williams announced he would retire on Nov. 30, 2012.
Information on the two candidates is publically available at the central office located at 612 South College St., Cedartown.