Steamboat superintendent search winding down

School board to meet Saturday to discuss finalists

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What: Steamboat Springs School Board meeting to identify superintendent finalists

When: 9 a.m. Saturday executive session; 9:30 a.m. open session

Where: George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street

Other: The meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 9:45 a.m.

— The Steamboat Springs School Board could narrow its list of superintendent applicants to three or four finalists during a meeting this morning.

The board will meet in executive session at 9 a.m. at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street to discuss the applicants it has received thus far. The board will then convene in open session at 9:30 a.m. to discuss and determine the finalists who will be invited to Steamboat next week for public interviews.

Today’s meeting is expected to end by 9:45 a.m.

School Board President Robin Crossan said the goal of the meeting is to identify three or four finalists. The finalists will then be invited to Steamboat for a dinner Thursday evening followed by a public interview process Friday. The public interview process would be similar to the one used by the board during the search that led to the hiring of outgoing Superintendent Shalee Cunningham.

That process has the finalists rotate among three rounds of interviews — one with the School Board, one with a group of community representatives and one with a group of district staff. Each group will ask different questions of the finalists, and group members’ comments will be reported back to the School Board for review.

Crossan said the School Board hopes to identify its top pick by the June 20 board meeting.

“The goal is to have a front-runner and to decide on a board member to enter into potential contract negotiations,” Crossan said. Salary, benefits and a start date would be elements of the negotiation process.

Colorado Open Meetings Law requires school boards to make public the list of finalists at least 14 days before a person is appointed. The job cannot be offered to any finalist before that 14-day period has passed.

Crossan said she’s been pleased with the search process.

“I think because four of the five board members went through it three years ago, it’s made it a lot easier this time around,” she said.

She’s also pleased with the state of the district.

“We’re in a good spot. Yes, we have some budget issues to deal with, but our district is doing well. We have really good people, and our goal is to keep doing better for the kids and continue to move forward.”

Cunningham’s last day is June 30. She accepted the job of superintendent of the Novato Unified School District in Marin County, Calif. Cunningham is from nearby Napa Valley.

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