DeKalb board fires controversial superintendent search firm

The DeKalb County Board of Education has fired the search firm charged with finding candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

Board officials were mum this afternoon during a called board meeting on whether the search for a new superintendent would begin without the input of the ousted firm.

The announcement came in a press release today, signifying the end of a relationship with search firm ProAct Search. The contract was severed due to misconduct allegations against SUPES Academy, whose owners also own ProAct Search. In Chicago, the group is dealing with allegations involving no-bid contracts with a firm where the current superintendent once was employed.

“While these are allegations only, the DeKalb Board of Education is committed to ensuring that the individuals representing us reflect our values and those of our community,” the release stated.

Other school districts, including Fayette County, Ky., have fired the firm based on allegations as well.

District officials said last month that ProAct Search received 112 full applicants to replace Thurmond, who has said he doesn’t plan to continue after his contract expires in June.

Melvin Johnson, chairman of the Board of Education, said as recently as last week in a statement that no evidence related to misconduct in the DeKalb County search.

“While we will continue to monitor the situation, the board is committed to the completion of the search process and the selection of DeKalb’s next superintendent,” he said.

The application deadline was April 10. A community liaison group helped select candidates, bringing their results to the board for consideration in choosing the second round of interviews.

According to the schedule for selection of a new superintendent, the first round of interviews are expected to begin this week, followed by interviews and selection of a candidate in early June.

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