Friday, September 7, 2007
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School District officials plan to interview three interim superintendent candidates Monday in hopes of having someone in place in the next two weeks.
The three applicants for the position have previous superintendent experience, said School Board President Denise Connelly, who noted she's looking for a candidate with team-building skills.
"The criteria we were looking for was team building, (the ability to) lead with input from subordinates, and being a good liaison between the district and the community," she said. "And we definitely wanted someone with experience."
Dr. Sandra Smyser, former superintendent of the Las Virgenes Unified School District in California, is scheduled to interview via video conference Monday morning. Dr. William Harner, currently the regional superintendent for the school district of Philadelphia, will interview by phone.
Steamboat Springs resident William Kennedy, a former superintendent in Norwich and Postdam, N.Y., is also scheduled to interview Monday.
"I guess one of the reasons I threw my hat in there is that it's a challenge," said Kennedy, who is married to former Soda Creek Elementary School teacher Barb Keenan.
"There are some wounds to heal and trust building to do," he said. "Those are skills I have, and if I can contribute to this community, I will. I live here."
Kennedy has 38 years of education experience with 13 years in the classroom, 18 years as principal and six years as superintendent. He moved to Steamboat six years ago after more than 12 years of annual visits to see his son, Craig Kennedy.
"I got to know some people in town," he said. "I follow the school because it's a lifelong interest and I'm a taxpayer, so you know, when you like living in a place, you want to help contribute."
Harner and Smyser could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The superintendent position was vacated Aug. 10 when the Steamboat Springs School Board voted 4-0 to buy out the remaining two years of former superintendent Donna Howell's contract, paying Howell $270,000 in exchange for her immediate resignation.
Connelly said a committee of community members will help with the search for an interim superintendent, who will lead the district until a permanent hire is made, possibly in spring 2008.
The committee includes Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich, Steamboat Springs Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter, the district's acting superintendent and director of finance, Dale Mellor, and JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler, the district's new director of curriculum and instruction.
The committee also includes Jane Toothaker, director of the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services; district teachers Sam Rush and Babette Dickson; school staff members Barb Hurley and Steve Schibline; and parents Jan Dupuy and Kelly Wilson.