The search to find the next superintendent for Georgia’s largest school system is officially underway.

The Gwinnett County school board formally started its search to replace current Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks on Monday, with a online community input survey going live and the official superintendent search announcement being posted.

Gwinnett County students, parents, teachers, school- and district-level staff members, county residents and local business owners are being asked to participate in the survey between now and May 16, when the search application window ends, to offer feedback for the search.

“Information from the survey will be provided to board members for their use in the selection process,” the district said in an announcement. “The search timeline calls for interviews to be conducted this summer and finalists for the position to be named in July.”

The move comes days after board members approved a job description for the search late last week. That description, which includes an overview of the community as well as a list of qualifications board members are seeking, is included in the search announcement.

The Georgia School Boards Association is conducting the search for GCPS.

The community survey is posted on www.gsba.com and www.gcpsk12.org, according to district officials. A link to the survey will also be sent to parents through the SchoolMessenger system after spring break, which is this week, ends.

Schools are also expected to provide their local communities with information on how people can participate in the survey.

The school board voted last month to terminate Wilbanks’ contract on July 31, 11 months before it was set to expire and board members are, therefore, working under that timeframe to have a new superintendent in place.

A job description for the position states board members prefer to pick someone who has experience and a record of success in a district with similar demographics to GCPS.

Under state law, the school board must announce a finalist, or finalists, at least 14 days prior to a vote being taken to hire someone to fill the position. District officials said as many as three finalists could be announced and an announcement will include information on who they are.

After the two-week waiting period elapses following the announcement of a finalist, or finalists, the board can vote at any time to hire someone for the position.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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