By Sarah Pridgeon
Following a succession of day-long interviews, the Board of Trustees for the Crook County School District is in the final stages of selecting a new superintendent and expects to announce its decision at a special meeting this week.
The process began, says Chairman Tracy Jones, with a list of approximately 35 recommendations from the Wyoming School Board Association, which was then whittled down to 11. “They brought us all the applications and we went through them one by one until we had narrowed it to three,” he explains.
All three candidates were interviewed over the course of a week, a process that involved visits to every school in the district, time with the board and a public meet-and-greet for each candidate to which any community member was invited. The interviews and subsequent discussions continued until almost midnight on April 19, says Jones.
“We’ve placed the candidates in our order of preference and we began calling references on Monday,” he continues. “We will offer the contract to the standout candidate, contingent on the board’s approval at the special meeting.”
The board expressed its thanks to everyone who submitted comments during the interview process at Monday’s regular meeting. “We read every one of them in executive session and bore each one in mind,” says Jones.
A revision was also made to the board’s policy regarding the superintendent’s contract at the meeting. A multi-year contract may now be considered, a change that was written in by Interim Superintendent Jeff Carrier to afford greater flexibility to the board.
The revision was requested by Jones and Vice-President Ken Rathbun at the recommendation of the Wyoming School Board Association. Board Members Keith Haiar and Josie Pearson, however, expressed concerns that the superintendent would be the only staff member on a multi-year contract and that, were such a contract ever offered, it would weaken the relationship between the superintendent and board by “blurring the superintendent’s responsiveness” to the board’s needs.
Jones explained that the revision does not imply that a multi-year contract will be offered and is intended largely to give that flexibility in the future. The motion to include the revision carried in a 5-3 vote, with Board Members Pearson, Haiar and Wayne Jordan voting against it.
The special meeting of the board at which the name of the new superintendent is expected to be released will take place on Thursday, April 25 at 6 p.m. at Central Office.