GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County School leaders have selected a search firm to help hire a new superintendent.

Sharon Contreras is leaving the position at the end of the school year and the school board has selected Summit Search Solutions to help find her replacement. Summit Search Solutions is a woman-owned firm based out of Asheville.

Summit Search Solution has experience in searching for college-level leaders, but this will be their first time searching for a public school system superintendent. They’re known to bring diversity to the table in recruiting for higher education and non-profits.

Of nearly 200 placements made since 2017, nearly 70% were women or people of color.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Guilford County School leaders made a motion in favor of Summit Search Solution, saying they believe the firm’s background is hiring candidates better aligns with what the district is looking for in a replacement for Contreras.

“Number one, Summit is local. Number two, I believe they will bring us a larger, more diverse pool of candidates,” Anita Sharpe said.

Beginning July 11, Dr. Whitney Oakley will take over as acting superintendent and interim superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year beginning in September if a new superintendent hasn’t been selected.