Viewpoint: More flaws in superintendent process

The Dougherty County School Board mishandled their search for a new superintendent.  Now, they seem to be mishandling the official hiring of the new school leader as well.

Despite evidence that Dr. Joshua Murfree was not the best qualified candidate, a majority of board members voted the hire him.  But those four board members refused to defend their decision when we asked them why they picked Murfree.

Even though he's been hired, Murfree can't start work because board members did not take the proper steps to have him certified and they didn't offer him a contract.  Now, get this, they're letting Murfree write his own contract proposal, including his salary.

Dr. Murfree also doesn't seem to be getting off on the right foot.  He asked the school board not to have a public forum to introduce him and allow people to ask him questions, even though the board initially had planned to do so.  We hope that's not a sign of things to come.

Dr. Murfree needs to be accessible to parents, taxpayers, school employees, and the media.  He needs to be a strong leader who is willing to stand up to the school board when necessary.  He needs to inspire school employees and students to succeed.  And most importantly, he needs to put our students first… always.  Nothing is more important than their education, and he must fight to make our schools better.

This whole process has been ugly, but Dr. Murfree has an opportunity and an obligation to put that behind us and move the Dougherty County School System forward to brighter days.