After receiving 21 applications for its superintendent position, the South Routt School District has pared the field of candidates to four finalists.
Janet Bohart, the Craig-based education consultant hired by the School Board to lead the search process, provided the names of the four finalists to board members at a meeting last week. Bohart declined to release the names publicly because one of the four finalists asked for his name to be withheld as long as possible.
Colorado's open records laws require the names of finalists to be released at least 14 days before an appointment is made. The School Board isn't expected to offer the job to its top candidate until mid-March.
The superintendent position, open because of the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Steve Jones, drew interest from candidates from six states, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Arizona and Wyoming. Three of the four finalists are from Colorado, and three have superintendent experience, Bohart said. All have successful, building-level administrative experience and have worked in small, rural school districts. Three of the four are familiar with Oak Creek, she said.
"I think we will be able to choose a good finalist," Bohart told the board members. "All four of them I really think want this job."
The original pool of 21 applicants was narrowed to 15 during a pre-screening conducted by Bohart and Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services executive director Jane Toothaker. A screening committee composed of three parents, three teachers, a district office representative, a support staff representative and South Routt Elementary School Principal Kim Rabon reviewed the 15 remaining applicants and reached consensus on four finalists, Bohart said. The committee also made a list of alternate candidates, which Bohart and Rabon described as strong.
"We probably could have had eight finalists," Rabon said.
The School Board has scheduled interviews with each of the finalists beginning the first week in March. Each finalist will go on a tour of district facilities, eat dinner with board members and participate in an interview. The finalists also will meet separately with a parallel interview committee composed of parents, teachers and support staff representatives. Each finalist will be reimbursed up to $500 for travel expenses related to the interviews.
The School Board will meet March 14 in executive session to discuss the four finalists and determine how it plans to negotiate a contract with its top choice, Bohart said. The board could announce its new superintendent by its March 17 meeting.
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