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March 27, 2013

NA-FC superintendent named as finalist in Carmel

Bruce Hibbard could leave school district

NEW ALBANY — Carmel Clay Schools has announced Bruce Hibbard, superintendent of New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp., as one of three finalists for their district’s top spot.

Hibbard was given a $28,500 raise just more than a year ago by his district’s board of trustees. After that vote, Mark Boone — a board member who was the board president at the time of the raise — said he was concerned Hibbard would leave the district partially because of his low salary relative to superintendents in similar districts.

Before the raise, Hibbard was announced as a finalist for superintendent jobs in Florida and Tennessee in April 2011.

In an emailed statement, Hibbard said moving to Carmel — which is just north of Indianapolis — would bring his family closer to his parents and in-laws.

“This is a great opportunity for me and my family,” Hibbard said in the statement. “If I am fortunate to get the job, it will allow my parents and my wife’s mother to spend more time with our children. My wife is from a very close family and she really misses being close to home.”

Hibbard is scheduled to attend a community listening session in Carmel at 4 p.m. today, March 27.

Tricia Reynolds, community relations coordinator for Carmel Clay Schools, said their board will deliberate in executive session after the last finalist session Thursday to begin naming their choice for the job. She said after a contract is negotiated with that candidate, it should be announced sometime in April. Reynolds said Hibbard’s name was submitted through a company they used to field candidates, BWP Consulting.

The contract of Carmel Clay Schools’ outgoing superintendent, Jeff Swensson, shows his base salary as of 2011 at $163,569. Hibbard’s base salary is $170,500.

D.J. Hines, New Albany-Floyd County’s board president, said he doesn’t think Hibbard’s application to another district is linked to pay, but personal connections and other reasons. He said Carmel Clay Schools might appear to be a little more prestigious than New Albany-Floyd County Schools and the family component of the issue is something the district just can’t compete with.

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