By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY — The superintendent of New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. is no longer in the running for the superintendent job at Carmel Clay Schools near Indianapolis.
A press release issued from the district Monday says Bruce Hibbard will remain in his position in Floyd County.
“On behalf of the New Albany-Floyd County School Board and with great enthusiasm, I announce that Dr. Bruce Hibbard is no longer a candidate for the Carmel Clay position,” D.J. Hines, district board president, said in the release. “Under Dr. Hibbard’s leadership, our district has attained the highest academic achievement, highest graduation rates and closed a $7 million dollar general fund shortfall. We could not be more pleased that he will continue to be our superintendent.”
Hibbard was announced as one of the three candidates for the job March 25. He had a public hearing with community members living in Carmel Clay Schools’ borders March 27.
Patricia Reynolds, Carmel Clay Schools’ community relations coordinator, said the board plans on sticking to its timeline for hiring a new superintendent, which will hold site visits of a candidate’s current district from through April 12.
“We anticipate keeping with the schedule that’s posted on our website,” Reynolds said. “At this point, we’re not prepared to comment one way or another on specifically how the board will be moving forward.”
She said the district’s board of trustees meets on April 8, where she said they hope to give the public an update on the process.
Hines said in a separate interview that Carmel Clay Schools has not announced whether they’ve chosen one of the other two candidates — Mary Ann Dewan, executive director of Central Indiana Educational Services Center, and Eric Ban, senior vice president of academic partnerships with Best Associates — as their new superintendent.
He added that even though the board voted to give him a raise after learning of his application to two other districts last year — totaling $28,500 — he doesn’t think money was the reason Hibbard considered the job.
“From mine and Bruce’s conversations, I don’t believe this was a situation that was influenced either positively or negatively by compensation,” Hines said. “I think this was an opportunity to solve a personal family situation that would have been beneficial to him, his wife and his family [to move there]. I think that was the overriding factor that even led to him considering this change in position.”
Rebecca Gardenour, New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools’ board of trustees member, said if the board does move to give him a raise again, she won’t give the measure an aye.
“I would not be in favor of paying him more because he’s already one of the highest paid superintendents in the state,” Gardenour said.
Hibbard’s base salary is $170,500.
She said after looking at other jobs, Hibbard should convey his dedication to the district publicly.
“I guess my first thought is that I think he needs to re-establish communications with the community and the board as a result of this,” Gardenour said. “I’m aware that this is at least the third job he’s tried for since he’s been here. I think the community would like to know that he wants to stay.
“He needs to re-establish that trust with the community that he’s going to stay here.”
Calls to Hibbard’s office Tuesday were not returned by press time.