Interviews set for superintendent finalists for Birmingham schools system

By Chanda Temple

Birmingham City Schools

Dr. Lisa Herring (left). Dr. Regina Thompson.
Dr. Lisa Herring (left). Dr. Regina Thompson.

The Birmingham Board of Education will interview Dr. Lisa Herring of Kentucky and Dr. Regina Thompson of South Carolina as finalists for the job of superintendent next week.

Dr. Thompson will be interviewed on Tuesday, April 25. She is currently the chief of teaching and learning for Richland County School District One in Blythewood, S.C. She is a native of Birmingham.

Dr. Herring will be interviewed on Wednesday, April 26. She is chief academic officer for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Ky.

Both interviews will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Central office. Interviews will be open to the public and live streamed at www.livestream.com/bcs.

Candidates will present their one-year and three-year plans for the district. Board members will ask candidates some of the questions citizens posed on an online feedback survey, which appeared on the district website earlier this week. During their visits, the candidates will visit schools, business leaders, community leaders and political leaders.

 Once the candidates’ interviews have ended on April 26, citizens and district employees will be able to give feedback on a second survey, which will be posted to the district website, www.bhamcityschools.org, from 7 p.m. on April 26 to 12 p.m. on May 1.

Earlier this week, the board interviewed Dr. Herring, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Garrett L. Brundage, chief officer of Safe Schools, student affairs and assistant superintendent of administrative services for Rockdale County Public Schools in Conyers, Ga. Based on the board’s scores compiled on April 21, Dr. Herring and Dr. Thompson had the highest scores and were selected as finalists.

“We are very excited to have these candidates come back in,” Board President Wardine Alexander said. “It’s very important to us that we maintain the leadership of our district and that we go ahead and get someone in place so that we can continue with the business of teaching and learning.”

Board members will meet again on May 2 to vote on a superintendent. The new superintendent is to start no later than July 1.

Board members met Friday, April 21 for a special called meeting to calculate scores for the candidates. Board members looked at candidates’ background information, feedback from online surveys completed by Birmingham residents and BCS employees, candidates’  writing samples, etc. To see the video from the April 21 meeting, go here.   (The first 29 minutes of the video show the board reviewing paperwork and tallying scores for the three candidates for superintendent. At the 29:46 mark, Board Member April Williams presents the results.)

Dr. Herring scored 366 for her interview, 395 for overview and 20 for stakeholder input for a grand total of 781. Thompson scored 201 for her interview, 269 for overview and 20 for stakeholder input for a grand total of 490. It was decided earlier in the selection process that the candidates with the top two scores would advance to the next round. Scores for Dr. Brundage were not released on April 21.

To see Dr. Thompson’s interview video, go here.  (The screen will say “Lost Signal” at first. Stay on the page and the video will soon appear around the 00.08 mark. The audio will start around the 2:43 mark.)

To see the first part of Dr. Herring’s interview video, go here. (The screen will say, “Lost Signal” at first. Stay on the page. The video and audio will start at the 00:27 mark.) Her video was interrupted but resumed here. (The screen will say, “Lost Signal” at first. Stay on the page. You will eventually see a picture and no sound. The interview and audio will start at the 14:13 mark.)