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Medford School Board chooses finalist for superintendent

The Medford School Board has named Brian Shumate, assistant superintendent for Academic Achievement K-12 of Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Ky., as its top pick for district superintendent.

The board interviewed Shumate, 48, and one other finalist in executive sessions Monday at Frau Kemmling Schoolhaus Brewhaus in Jacksonville. It was both candidates' second interview with the board.

Board Chairman Jeff Thomas said all the board members support Shumate. He described Shumate as a motivational, positive person with student-first agenda.

"He is a guy that can drive a plan to execution, and the board believes he is the right guy for this job and this community at this time," Thomas said.

The board will begin negotiating a contract with Shumate immediately and will vote on his selection Monday

(day corrected).

If hired, Shumate would replace Superintendent Phil Long, who is retiring June 30 after nine years as head of the district.

Shumate earned his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Louisville and, since July 2007, has been one of six regional assistant superintendents in his district of more than 101,000 students.

Of the 172 schools in the district, Shumate oversees four high schools, four middle schools, 15 elementary schools and one alternative school.

The four-year graduation rates for 2012-13 at the four high schools ranged from 68.3 percent (Western High) to 81.5 percent (Butler Traditional High), according to school profiles on the JCPS website.

Shumate is married to Dana Shumate, who works for JCPS as coordinator of business involvement.

The board's interview with Shumate Monday lasted four hours and was an opportunity for each of the board members to ask questions and address individual concerns, Thomas said.

"I feel very confident that we've made the right choice, and I'm excited about what he and his wife could bring to our community," he added.

— Teresa Thomas