Superintendent search to begin in fall

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— The search for South Routt School District Superintendent Steve Jones' replacement will begin this fall under the direction of education consultant Janet Bohart, according to a search process proposal accepted by the School Board this week.
The seven-member South Routt School Board unanimously accepted Bohart's proposal after a brief discussion at its Thursday meeting. The search, with an estimated cost of between $4,000 and $5,000, will begin in October and end in March.
"I know Mrs. Bohart will do a good job for us," School Board President Hank deGanahl said.
School Board members have discussed search options during the past couple of months, including a search limited to internal candidates. The board and the district's administrative team ultimately agreed to a search including internal and external candidates.
Jones will retire at the end of the 2004-05 school year.
According to Bohart's proposal, the search will include discussions with the School Board to identify the values sought in a new superintendent, the style and characteristics needed in a school system leader and a salary package to offer the chosen candidate.
The search also will involve the community and district staff through focus group discussions and at least one community forum. Bohart will assist board members in developing questions "to discover each applicant's position and ideas on issues important to the board and community," according to the proposal.
Application packets and promotional brochures will be assembled and mailed to all state school districts, and the job opening will be posted with state, regional and national education groups such as the Colorado Association of School Boards and the Colorado Association of School Executives.
A group of community representatives and out-of-district administrators will help the School Board screen applications. Interviews will be scheduled in early or mid-March.
School Board member Tim Corrigan said the cost of the search is worth it for the small district.
"Five thousand dollars is a lot of money, but we're talking about a pretty important position," Corrigan said.
In other South Routt School Board news:
n The School Board approved a $5.69 million preliminary budget. The budget, which is balanced, reflects a $34,000 decrease in revenues that district officials learned of recently. The lost revenues stem from decreased federal mineral impact funds and specific ownership taxes. The district compensated for the revenue shortfall by cutting $16,000 from contingency expenditures and reducing capital reserve transfers and money for technology and other programs.
"We're doing OK," Jones said. "We're coping well and making the right decisions."
District revenues have continued to dwindle during the past several years, mostly as a result of decreased student enrollment. The result has been annual budget cuts, including the removal last year of two teaching positions and a principal position at the middle school.
n The School Board approved a resolution to borrow $1.6 million under the Interest-Free Loan Program for the 2004-05 school year. The district paid off a similar loan taken out for the 2003-04 school year, Jones said.
n South Routt Elementary School has changed its logo to the Ram and its colors to maroon and white. The change means all three South Routt schools have the same mascot and color scheme.
n The gymnasium floor at the elementary school will be resurfaced next school year at a cost of about $8,000. The high school's gymnasium floor will be resurfaced during the 2005-06 school year at a similar cost.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234
or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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