Marvin Welch

Marvin Welch

An hour and a half meeting of the Christian County Board of Education to discuss the potential hiring of a new superintendent resulted in no action Thursday night.

Following a closed-session discussion, the board immediately adjourned and the members quickly left the building. Board member Mary DeBow had no comment and wouldn’t say if additional interviews or meetings were scheduled or even discussed.

The special meeting was the culmination of a daylong interview with applicant Marvin Welch.

Welch, 50, is the chief operations

officer and an assistant superintendent in Madison County. He has been in education for 27 years, working as both a teacher and principal.

On Thursday, Welch met with the Chamber of Commerce, business leaders and school officials.

At 4:30 p.m., there was a public forum during which Welch answered a slew of questions from a small group of attendees. At the end of the forum, people were asked to write their opinions of Welch on a note card to be given to board members.

Questions about achievement gaps and school diversity were frequent during the chamber breakfast and the public forum. Welch couldn’t remember the student minority population of Madison schools when asked.

One of the most marked differences between the districts is the percentage of minority population. Madison reported a 90 percent white student population in 2010; five percent were African-American. That same year, Christian County had a 59 percent white student population and 35 percent were African-American.

In 2010, Madison County had 52 percent of its students on free and reduced lunch. Christian County had 60 percent that year.

Welch repeatedly said his focus was on academic achievement and college and career readiness.

After the public forum, Welch had dinner and a final interview with the board. At 8:30 p.m., the board went into a closed-session to discuss the possibility of hiring Welch as the district’s new superintendent.

The agenda called for two discussions: one about the hiring of Welch and another concerning a possible contract.

About eight minutes into their meeting, the board called seven principals from elementary and middle schools into the room. They spoke for more than 40 minutes. At 9:35 p.m., Welch was called into the room. Ten minutes later, he left.

The board members went into open session 20 minutes later and ended the meeting. They didn’t talk with anyone attending the meeting and left within minutes.

Board member Betsy Glover was hospitalized earlier in the day and was unable to attend.

Board chairman Barry Cornelius has said that Welch was the only candidate being considered for the position.

Welch was first interviewed by the board for three and a half hours on Sunday afternoon. It was announced a day later that he would be visiting the district for an in-person interview.

On Tuesday, the board announced it would have a special meeting following the interview to discuss hiring Welch as the new superintendent.

Cornelius previously told the New Era that the superintendent applicant screening committee and the board had a strong feeling about Welch.

He is being considered for other superintendent positions throughout the state.

He was previously being considered by Adair County, but withdrew his application.

REACH BENJAMIN JOUBERT at 270-887-3240 or bjoubert@kentuckynewera.com.

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