Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School District officials decided Friday to search for a new superintendent on their own.
School Board members decided to advertise for a one- or two-year position in hopes of attracting a mix of candidates looking for an interim or long-term position. Board members Denise Connelly and Brian Kelly will lead a superintendent search committee. They plan to meet from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday to set a timeline for the process.
Board members decided to search for a new superintendent on their own with great uncertainty as to how many people might apply for the position.
“It’s like panning for gold,” Kelly said.
Board members expressed an interest in saving money by not hiring a search firm and said the public still would be involved in the process.
“The worst that is going to happen is we’re going to come back and say we can’t handle this,” Board President Robin Crossan said.
Board members were confident they had the tools to move forward with the search.
“We’re so far ahead of the ballgame,” Crossan said. “I just think we can do it on our own. If for some reason there aren’t (qualified candidates) then we can scale to the search firm.”
Steamboat Superintendent Shalee Cunningham last month accepted an offer to be superintendent at the Novato Unified School District in California. Cunningham has served as Steamboat’s superintendent since July 2008. Her last day is June 30.
Some board members said they were uncomfortable with searching for a long-term superintendent with School Board elections approaching in November.
“I don’t think under any circumstances should we be doing a multiyear contract right now,” Lisa Brown said.
Cunningham said she agreed that the search would be more appropriate after the election.
“As soon as you hear three of five (board members) are up in November, a lot (of applicants) will drop out because there is no stability in that,” Cunningham said.
Until a new superintendent is chosen, a successor will have to be named to take the job title July 1.
Cunningham said she had someone in mind and would make a recommendation to the board.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com