Superintendent search heats up

Board may announce finalists' names

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— The Steamboat Springs School District's search for a superintendent heats up tonight, when the Board of Education might announce the names of between three and five finalists.

The School Board will review approximately 45 candidate applications in executive session today, including 10 to 15 applicants recommended by Ray and Associates, the search firm hired by the School Board to find Superintendent Cyndy Simms' replacement.

The board is scheduled to emerge from the executive session and may announce the names of the candidates it feels most worthy to succeed Simms. School

Board President Paul Fisher said whether finalist names are revealed depends on the individual confidentiality circumstances of the selected candidates.

Some candidates, Fisher said, are in positions where they have requested confidentiality. The names of those candidates who have not indicated a desire to keep their identity under wraps may be announced if they are selected, Fisher said.

Regardless of whether names are revealed, the number of applicants will be pared down to about five today, Fisher said.

Once the finalists are chosen, the board plans to invite them to Steamboat for rounds of interviews with the board and a group of district stakeholders. Information collected by both groups from the interviews will be used to help determine which candidate should be offered the job, Fisher said recently.

Finalist interviews are scheduled for June 25 and 26.

Simms' contract ends July 1.

The School Board also is scheduled to vote to accept two gifts from the Education Fund Board today.

The Fund Board, at its June 4 meeting, approved funding requests for two teachers to lower class sizes at the elementary school level and funding for a district grant writer.

The Fund Board previously approved a request for a three-teacher gift intended to lower class sizes. The gift was rejected by the School Board.

Fisher, who voted against the three-teacher gift as both a Fund Board member and School Board president, voted in favor of the two-teacher gift at the June 4 Fund Board meeting. Citing the spirit of compromise demonstrated by the Fund Board's Educational Excellence Commission, Fisher, on June 4, said he would support the teacher gift despite his belief the district already has small class sizes and cannot afford to institutionalize the additional teaching positions.

Also on today's School Board agenda:

n The board will vote to accept two policies dealing with the distribution/posting of written material and dissemination of certain spoken material and meetings of non-curriculum-related student groups. Board member Tom Sharp authored both policies in response to criticism that the school district permits religious groups onto school grounds during the school day to meet with students. The School Board has said Chris Gdowski, its attorney, maintains the existing policies are legal. Sharp said he authored the policies in an attempt at compromise.

n Simms will present updated budget-cutting recommendations to the board.

n Simms would not discuss what revisions she made to her list of cuts, though she did say the cuts and increased revenue proposals will total $332,000. The School Board must approve a preliminary 2003-04 budget by June 30.

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