Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Board of Education will narrow a field of nearly 50 superintendent applicants to between three and five finalists at its June 16 board meeting, President Paul Fisher said Tuesday.
Bill Newman, executive director of Ray and Associates, the search firm hired by the School Board to find Superintendent Cyndy Simms' replacement, will bring between 44 and 50 candidate applications to the board's next meeting, Fisher said.
Newman and School Board members will "pore over all the applications and try to reduce the number of candidates," Fisher said. Though Newman will present every application to the board, he will identify between 10 and 15 top candidates based on School Board and community superintendent profiles.
Once three to five finalists are selected, the School Board will invite those candidates to Steamboat to interview with the board and a group of district stakeholders, Fisher said.
The group of stakeholders will include a principal, district director, Steamboat Springs Education Association representative, District Accountability Committee representative and four community members not affiliated with any school district committees or groups, Fisher said.
A few community members have volunteered to be part of the interview group, Fisher said.
"The idea is we definitely are considering inviting people from groups who have raised concerns about district issues," Fisher said. "We're not trying to exclude controversy. We want to be inclusive, not exclusive."
The School Board and the district stakeholder group will conduct finalist interviews June 25 and June 26.
Fisher said the School Board is considering giving tours of Steamboat Springs to the finalists in order to give each candidate a feel for the city.
Following the interviews, the School Board will pool the information it and the stakeholder group gathered for the purpose of selecting a single finalist.
Fisher said he is awaiting word from school district attorney Chris Gdwoski regarding what aspects of the selection process will be held in open public meetings or executive session.
The search process is moving ahead at mach speed, Fisher said. He was particularly pleased with the number of applicants.
"To me it's a remarkable number of applicants, especially considering how fast this thing has gone," Fisher said. "The whole board was pleased."
In other news from Monday's School Board meeting, the board voted 3-2 to accept a $5,000 Fund Board gift to help fund an elementary Spanish program. The School Board likely will adopt a contract with the Parent Information Committees at both Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools to ensure that the remaining $44,000 needed to fully fund the program will come from PIC donations. The program was piloted in the elementary schools during the second half of the school year through PIC funding.
The district has said it cannot afford to fund the program but that it strongly supports the ideology of the program.
The vote was tabled at the School Board's May 19 meeting because of board member Tom Sharp's absence. Board member Tami Havener thanked Fisher and board member Paula Stephenson for tabling the vote, which would have resulted in a 2-2 tie had it taken place in Sharp's absence. The tie vote would have rejected the gift.
Sharp voted for the gift Monday, providing the majority needed to accept the funds.
Stephenson and Fisher voted against the gift.