The hunt for Wake County's next superintendent could be a really secret search.
As noted in today's article, the school board's superintendent search committee agreed Thursday that no names would be publicly released before finalists are identified. But Debra Goldman, the chairwoman of the committee, said there are reasons why they might not want to release the name of anyone other that the person who is hired.
Goldman said a strong candidate might not want to be considered as a finalist if the person knew that his/her identity will be released to the public with the chance of not being hired.
Goldman said the committee will want to discuss the issue with attorneys to find out what they're legally required to do.
Legally, Wake could go the route of places like the Durham school board or the UNC system and only publicly announce who was hired to be superintendent or chancellor.
But how well will it play out, especially with critics of the board majority, if no names are released other than the person eventually chosen to replace Del Burns?
Goldman said she'd expect Heidrick & Struggles to present the names of multiple finalists for the board to consider. She doesn't want a repeat of what happened in Houston when Heidrick presented the name of only one finalist.
When Burns was hired in 2006, the name of the other internal applicant wasn't released.
In 2000, Bill McNeal was the only applicant.
In 1995, the board narrowed the list to two finalists. Both finalists were flown to Raleigh to meet with the community before the board eventually hired Jim Surratt.
If the names of the finalists are revealed, Goldman said she wouldn't support putting the people on display by bringing them in ahead of time to meet with the public.
Goldman said the public's role is to suggest what they want in a superintendent in two open meetings that will be held later this month.