The Knox County Board of Education is using its annual board retreat to map out a plan for hiring the district's new superintendent.

Board members are meeting for a two-day work session from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Saturday at the Regas Building at 318 N. Gay St.

The board's main task is setting a plan for how the district will hire a new permanent superintendent.

"It's a daunting task, it's a big job, extremely important to our community,” said board member Susan Horn.

To keep the board on track, two volunteer facilitators are working to keep the meeting moving.

"We can allow all the school board members to participate equally and we can do the scribing and keeping on agenda and the process so they can determine what they're looking for in the superintendent,” said Beth Hamil.

The group brainstormed about their goals and how they hope to meet them.

Next they mapped out what students, teachers and the community say they need in a superintendent.

"It's important that we take all that feedback and truly try to represent all the people,” said Horn.

Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas took over after former superintendent Jim McIntyre stepped down in June. McIntyre served for 7 years, and the process to hire him took more than a year.

The time spent at the board retreat could impact the district for years to come.

"We want somebody that will help our school system be a welcoming place for anybody that tries to deal with us, be that a parent, community member or a business,” said board member Lynn Fugate.

On Saturday, board members will get back to work - this time diagramming the process they'll use to find the next superintendent.

"We have to decide how we're going to do the search but before we do that, we have to decide exactly what we're searching for and that'll be the big part of tomorrow morning's discussion,” said Fugate.

The board will have to decide "how they're going to proceed, what the time table is and whether they're going to seek any assistance," Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas told WBIR 10News last month. "There are firms and organizations that can be brought in to help a school board search, if they want to use that, and I'm going to leave that up to them."

The district held two public forums in September to hear from parents and community members what characteristics and qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent.

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Friday's agenda also included discussion about school district planning goals and objectives.

Other items on Saturday's agenda include testing and evaluations, Tennessee School Boards Association legislation, physical activity and recess and proposed policy changes.