With some reluctance, the Harlan County Board of Education accepted the retirement announcement of Timothy W. Saylor as superintendent at their regular monthly meeting Thursday evening.
His retirement is effective June 30. The board immediately approved a plan to contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association to “facilitate the selection process” regarding his replacement.
“I can’t help but think back to 12 years ago when I was hired,” Saylor told the board. “I was nervous then and I’m nervous now.”
He apologized for “waiting this long,” adding that he wanted to “make sure it was what I really wanted to do.”
“I thank you board members from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity you gave me to be the leader of this school system these last 12 years,” he said. “I hope I’ve served the county with your blessing.”
Chairman Gary Farmer was generous in his praise of Saylor’s work and thanked him for “the great progress” that had been made across the district during his tenure.
“There are just a lot of emotions in play right now,” Saylor said, “from disappointing to rewarding and everything in between. This job has had everything.”
After some routine business, the board later adjourned for a 15-minute executive session after which they announced their intention to contact the KSBA, which provides expertise in the committee structure and evaluation process required by regulation to select the next superintendent.
Farmer said the KSBA would provide many benefits to the board during their search. KSBA has conducted more than 150 searches for school districts and has over two decades of experience in conducting searches. As an impartial third party, KSBA helps to protect the integrity and credibility of the search process.
KSBA has personnel dedicated to superintendent searches and will approach the process from the boards’ perspective. They will provide a custom design so the search will meet the needs of the local district, Farmer said.
According to the KSBA website, their partnership with the National School Boards Association will provide a national network of search personnel, which is valuable for reference checking.