March 27, 2014 in Washington Voices

EV surveys options for superintendent search

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Other topics

Also discussed at Tuesday’s East Valley School Board meeting:

• Interim Superintendent Tom Gresch will present the board with a plan for staffing for the 2014-15 school year at the next meeting on April 8. Board member Mitch Jensen asked if the district could be looking at a reduction in force. “That’s part of it,” Gresch said.

• Gresch said the Parent Partner Program and the Washington Academy of Arts and Technology will move into the current administration building. The administration will move into the Walker Center.

• Gresch said job postings will be listed soon for a middle school principal, a middle school assistant principal and a head boys basketball coach. This will add one administrator to the district, since a current administrator will retire this year.

The East Valley School Board discussed the process of finding a new superintendent Tuesday, and agreed to have a work session April 14 to meet with recruitment companies.

The search firm would provide the district with a pool of candidates, which the board can approve, ask for a new pool or agree to in part and ask for other candidates. Once the board narrows that pool to two or three candidates, there is a process of meetings with the public, staff and board. The search firm’s payment is contingent on the district hiring one of its candidates.

Board member Mike Harris, who participated in the hiring of former Superintendent John Glenewinkel, said it is an extensive process that could take months.

Mitch Jensen, the other board member who was part of the last selection process, pointed out how late in the year it is to find qualified candidates.

“We should have been doing this in February when the decision was made,” he said, referring to when the board and Glenewinkel decided to part ways.

Jensen said superintendent contracts usually begin July 1. Harris said superintendents typically extend their contracts with their current school districts in January or February. If they are looking for a new position, they let their school boards know around that time.

“That’s why the pool gets rather small,” Harris said.

Harris said the flip side of that is that if a district somewhere has five candidates they are looking at, they choose one, leaving four available superintendents.

Jensen countered: “The flip side is, why are they still out there?”

Harris said he believes the board has three options: an internal search, an external search, or extending Interim Superintendent Tom Gresch’s contract, which expires June 30, giving the board time for a more extensive search.

Board chairman Mike Novakovich prefers an internal search, saying he is concerned about bringing in a new superintendent in the midst of the changes the district will make to return to a middle school model.

Board member Justin Voelker said he preferred an external search so they can say to the public they looked at all their options.

At the April 14 work session, the board will meet with the search firm that helped with the previous search, and one other company.


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