NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- The search is on for the next New Hanover County Schools superintendent. The school board is meeting right now to discuss its options. Wednesday board members began a closed session meeting to figure out how and possibly who they'll choose as the new superintendent. The New Hanover County School Board is weighing its options for hiring a new district superintendent. School board Chairman Don Hayes said, "All the components that we're looking for will come later, with board input, community input. All these things will be looked at, at that time." After current Superintendent John Morris resigned a few weeks ago, board members say they sprung into action, considering two options: hire someone from within the school system or launch a widespread search, in-state or nationwide, for the next district leader. "You can hire the North Carolina School Board Association to do that for you, to conduct the search and send you the applications. And you can do that yourself and in the coming months, that will be discussed." Until a final decision is made board Chairman Don Hayes says an interim superintendent will step in, giving the board more time to search for a permanent replacement. Local teachers and administrators say whoever the new candidate is he or she will have some big shoes to fill. Eaton Elementary Principal Heather Byers said, "Dr. Morris has done a great job getting New Hanover County started on the right foot all these years and this new person just has to continue with what he started." Byers says she has high hopes for the new superintendent. "I think it would be nice for this new person to be visible in the schools, was a people person and worked with the community members, as well as being an advocate for principals and for students," Byers said. No matter how they go about choosing the next superintendent school board members say they are keeping their deadline in mind. John Morris is set to resign by August 31.
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