Brunswick County superintendent to receive first evaluation Tuesday

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Ahead of its monthly meeting Tuesday, the Brunswick County Board of Education will conduct its first evaluation of Superintendent Les Tubb, who was hired in March 2015 to replace Dr. Edward Pruden. Courtesy photo.
Ahead of its monthly meeting Tuesday, the Brunswick County Board of Education will conduct its first evaluation of Superintendent Les Tubb, who was hired in March 2015 to replace Dr. Edward Pruden. Courtesy photo.

The Brunswick County school district’s top leader will soon find out if he has made the grade for his first year in charge.

Board of education members will evaluate Superintendent Les Tubb ahead of their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Tubb, a retired career educator and administrator with Brunswick County Schools, was hired to head up the district in March 2015, nearly four months after the board picked him to serve as interim superintendent after suddenly firing Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden.

It wasn’t Tubb’s first go-round in that role. Before his retirement in 2011, he was the school system’s director of career and technical education. While in that position, he stepped in as interim in February 2010 after the school board bought out then-superintendent Katie McGee’s contract. Tubb served as interim until June 30, 2010, when Pruden began his employment.

Shortly before placing Tubb in that temporary role, the board launched a national search to find a permanent replacement for Pruden, who was terminated seven months ahead of his previously announced retirement date.
The board hired the N.C. School Boards Association (NCSBA) to assist in the monthslong process, budgeting approximately $24,000 for consultation fees and other associated costs. As part of the search, the board solicited feedback from parents, staff and the community through online and paper surveys.

According to the board, eight weeks of advertisement for the position garnered 39 applicants – 23 from North Carolina and the remainder from nine other states. Of those 39, only one – Tubb – received an interview.

The decision to hire him without considering other candidates drew disapproval from board member John Thompson, who cast the only dissenting vote last year to give Tubb the reins effective April 1.

“It is important, to me, for the board to undertake and work at building a stronger, more effective school system for the benefit of our children,” Thompson said following the decision. “Hiring a superintendent is one of the biggest decisions we have to make. I think we probably completed our discussions of that decision prematurely.”

But Thompson’s four peers disagreed, arguing that their longstanding working relationship with Tubb prompted them to interview him ahead of other candidates to avoid wasting additional time and money. And following the interview, the board opted to move ahead of the NCSBA’s outlined schedule and offer him the position.

According to his contract, Tubb began work on April 1, 2015 at an annual salary of $148,900. His contract does not expire until June 30, 2018 but the school board annually conducts evaluations of its superintendents.

The closed-session evaluation will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at central office. Then at 6:30 p.m., the Brunswick County Board of Education will move to the David R. Sandifer Administration Building at the government center for its public meeting.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@hometownwilmington.com.

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