No word from Sandra Smyser

Steamboat interim superintendent mum on applying for full-time position


— The deadline to apply for the Steamboat Springs School District's superintendent position closed Tuesday, but whether interim superintendent Sandra Smyser applied for the job remains unconfirmed.

Smyser has served as the district's interim superintendent since October. She replaced former superintendent Donna Howell, whose contract was bought out in August 2007 by the previous Steamboat Springs School Board. When asked Tuesday if she applied for the permanent job, Smyser declined to confirm whether she submitted an application to the Colorado Association of School Boards, which was hired by the district to assist in the superintendent search.

But Smyser has previously indicated she hopes to continue leading Steamboat schools. In November, she dismissed herself from a School Board meeting during a discussion on the superintendent search, because of her "possible opportunity" to apply for the position.

School Board member Laura Anderson said all superintendent applicants would receive equal consideration for the position despite the fact that Smyser - if she applied - has essentially had a six-month interview for the job.

"It maybe does not go to her benefit because we have seen what her strengths and weaknesses are," she said. "The other candidates come cold to us, and we don't really know how they operate."

School Board members have shown consolidated support for Smyser in several public meetings.

Bob Cito, a consultant with CASB who is leading the superintendent search, was unavailable to comment Tuesday on the number of applications he received. School Board members won't know who applied for the position until Friday, when Cito turns over the applications.

On Monday, the School Board plans to meet in executive session for almost three hours to screen applications. Once board members narrow the list of candidates, CASB officials will conduct background checks.

Cito said three weeks ago that he had not received any applications for the position. Anderson was concerned Tuesday that few had applied for the job.

"I just hope we get 10 applications," Anderson said. "I would assume we would want to narrow it down to five (after Monday's meeting) at the most."

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 invite candidates to interview until mid-March. The board is expected to name a new superintendent by April 11. The date to begin employment is July 1.

The district's next superintendent likely will receive a salary of more than $145,000 annually, plus benefits.

Howell's salary was $145,229. Smyser is being paid $102,353 under her prorated contract. Her base salary is similar to Howell's when calculated for a full work year.


letomayo 9 years ago

What if Smyser disses us after some of the board is dissing her for the last few months. Supposably I heard that the new board members don't want her because she is not mean enough like the other one was and she was picked by the other board before they came on and now she is applying somewhere else. What an irony for these three to be dissed and they lose a good one to another school district in the mountains because they ran against the other board members and liked the other sperintendent better. Did the other one reapply.

Anderson hopes they get 10 applicants and that's all? If we are such a great school district and get only 10 and this board thinks they are the best board and the best district. How will this board save face.

If Smyser doesn't get the other job will this board cut off its nose to spite its face because she applied and interviewed somewhere else? This board can't seem to find it's own identity and is trying to act like the old boards and do what they would do that gave the other superintendent the big contract that started all of the trouble for the other board.


turtledove 9 years ago

The comment from Anderson,

"It maybe does not go to her benefit because we have seen what her strengths and weaknesses are," she said. "The other candidates come cold to us, and we don't really know how they operate."

sounds rather negative. I would think they would be encouraging Smyser to apply given how hard it can be to find someone who gets along with all the Steamboat 'factions' plus the fact that she apparently has done a good job. An unknown newcomer may or may not come with baggage, i.e. personality problems that don't show up in interviews...been there, done that.


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