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Spokane Public Schools chief search down to 3

Sun., April 1, 2012

After much conversation, deliberation and interviewing, Spokane Public Schools’ board has narrowed down the search for the next superintendent to three finalists.

Alexander Apostle, of Missoula; Shelley Redinger, of Fredericksburg, Va.; and Gregory Firn, of Wadesboro, N.C.; will meet with the community and school staff at forums April 10, 11 and 12.

The search to replace Superintendent Nancy Stowell began in January. After Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates recruiters reviewed 652 online surveys and spoke with more than 330 Spokane residents, community leaders and school employees in 32 focus groups, they began hunting for the ideal candidate.

Board members reviewed 22 applicants’ credentials before selecting six semifinalists. After interviewing those six – a mix of men and women from around the country – the final three were chosen.

All of the finalists hold superintendent positions. Apostle leads Missoula County Public Schools, with 8,750 students; Redinger leads the Spotsylvania County Schools, with 23,844 students; and Firn leads Anson County Schools, with 3,900 students.

Qualities such as experience in a large district and demonstrated effective leadership put candidates at the top of the list.

“I am excited at the passion and the focus on improving student achievement that each of these candidates brings,” said Bob Douthitt, board president. “Each has a tie to Washington, even though they are currently superintendents in other states.”

School district employees and community members will have the opportunity to weigh in on whether the finalists meet the desired criteria.

Board members will consider all feedback before selecting the new leader.

A new superintendent likely will be named by the end of April, and that person will take over on July 1.

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