- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - South Pike School District officials expect to announce their new choice for superintendent after a previous candidate chose not to take the position.

Chavis Bradford declined the job and will remain as director of federal programs for the Wilkinson County School District, The Enterprise-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1QdXkfn ).

Dr. Luke Lampton, president of the South Pike school board, said Bradford was “an excellent candidate” for superintendent, but Bradford and the board couldn’t agree on a contract.

Lampton said the board probably should not have announced Bradford as the top contender until a contract was signed. But, he said trustees were trying to be transparent with the public.

“It’s common policy to announce when the board votes to hire someone,” Lampton said, which is what happened when the South Pike board announced Bradford as its choice in early May.

The district’s original search was conducted by the Mississippi School Boards Association, which Lampton said had produced three or four “extraordinarily impressive” candidates.

Trustees revisited that short list in an emergency session Friday and made a selection from it. Lampton said a new choice could be announced Monday or Tuesday, as soon as a contract is set.

“The citizens of South Pike are going to be extraordinarily pleased with who the next superintendent will be,” Lampton said.

He made a point of praising Bradford: “He is an outstanding educator and we wish him the best in the future.”

The superintendent’s job became vacant after Estes Taplin retired at the end of April. District official Warren Banks has served as acting superintendent.

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