CCSD prepares to appoint interim superintendent

By Sarah Pridgeon

In the wake of Lon Streib’s resignation as Superintendent of the Crook County School District, the Board of Trustees is preparing to appoint an interim superintendent to take the reins until a permanent replacement is chosen. Streib, meanwhile, confirms that his resignation was tendered for personal reasons.

“The replacement process will be driven by the board,” explains Streib. “They will appoint someone for the very short term, probably from the staff they have now, then they’ll perhaps look for an interim from the pool of retired superintendents from around the state. It’s not set in stone that they must go outside the district, though, so the interim superintendent could be someone from within the district.”

“The board will need to discuss it,” agrees Trustee Tracy Jones. “It might not be from current staff, the board will need to discuss ideas and so forth.”

“We haven’t had a chance to talk about it yet, really,” he goes on. “When it materialized at the special session, we were asked to act on it that night, so we didn’t have chance to elaborate.”

The resignation, though unexpected, did not come a surprise to Jones. “Whether he was right, wrong or indifferent, scrutiny like he’s been under for the last six months takes its toll on a person and their family.”

A nationwide search will soon begin to find a permanent replacement to fill the superintendent post, which Streib suggests may be scheduled to happen on July 1 next year, coinciding with the beginning of the district’s next fiscal year.

“That’s when the contract period typically begins, yes,” says Jones. “But if we get an outstanding candidate in February, for example, we wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity by telling them they couldn’t start until July 1. We’d start them with a short contract initially and re-issue it in July.”

At Monday’s regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, at which Curriculum Director Teresa Brown sat in for Streib, the board announced after an executive session that an interim will indeed be sought, based on recommendations from the Wyoming School Board Association. The interim will remain in place until a replacement can be found – a process expected to take up to six months.

Potential candidates will need to share the philosophies, ethics and ideas of the board as it moves forward, Jones continues.

“I don’t care where the replacement comes from, but I do care that we choose someone with strong budget and curriculum experience. It’s also very important that they possess strong leadership and personnel skills,” Jones says. “Those people are out there, we just need to find the right one.”

A consultant will almost certainly be brought in to help the board with the process of finding a permanent replacement, Jones speculates. “We will also most definitely want to wait until after the elections, when the new board members are in place.”

“I wish the district well,” says Streib, by way of farewell. “The teachers, staff and kids are well-equipped to succeed. I hope the next superintendent will continue the good programs we’ve got.”

“The board has given good direction for how they want kids to learn and how much they want them to learn with their strategic plan,” he continues. “Unless they change that plan, administration knows what’s expected of them and the students.”

There is, in addition, a possibility that Streib may move away from the county altogether. The school district of Silver City, New Mexico, according to the Silver City Daily Press at www.scdailypress.com, is expected to offer him the position of superintendent at its next official meeting on October 25.

Streib is said to be the district’s choice from among three candidates, including the assistant superintendent of Roswell Independent School District and Silver City’s own associate superintendent of transport and human resources.

Whether he stays in the county or leaves for pastures new, Streib says he has enjoyed his time working with the district. “I’ve learned a ton and made some good friends,” he concludes.