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Realizing there is no time to waste, the Clarinda Community School District Board of Directors selected a consulting firm to assist with the searches for both an interim and long-term superintendent.

After conducting interviews with three firms during a special meeting Wednesday, June 5, at the McKinley Central Office, the board selected EDWise to serve as its consultant for the superintendent searches. The fee for the two searches will be $8,000 plus approximately $1,000 in expenses. Should the district request applicants for the long-term position complete a 22 question Leadership Styles and Behaviors survey, the price will increase to $9,500 plus expenses.

Current superintendent Deron Stender has resigned from the position effective June 30. He will then serve as the new superintendent at Creston.

The other firms interviewed were Grundmeyer Leader Search and Ray and Associates. Grundmeyer Leader Search served as the consulting firm for the 2016 superintendent search that resulted in the hiring of Stender.

Dr. Trent Grundmeyer outlined the services his firm would provide during the search. The cost of the two searches was $14,037 which included $2,500 for the interim search and $9,885 for the full-time search.

Speaking to the board during the interview for Ray and Associates were Dr. Richard Christie and Dr. Lane Plugge. The firm proposed a fee of $8,000 plus a maximum of $1,200 in expenses to complete the two searches.

Dr. Paul Tedesco serves as president of EDWise. Lou Howell, who is one of four other team members with the firm, represented the company at the interview. Howell is completing her second year as the interim superintendent at Treynor.

“We have superintendents on the team, so we have lived it,” Howell said. “You guys are in control, but we’ll be glad to do as much of the work as you want us to do.”

During the interview process, each firm said there were two critical points the board needed to consider before selecting an interim superintendent. First, the board must determine what it wants the interim superintendent to accomplish over the next year. Then, the board was told it should decide if it would allow the interim superintendent to also be a candidate for the long-term position.

“This person will be boots on the ground during the selection for the next superintendent,” Howell said.

Board president Greg Jones said there are unique factors about the district the interim superintendent would need to be aware of. Those factors include the relationship the district has with Clarinda Academy, the sharing agreement being developed with South Page and the final implementation stage of the one-to-one initiative to provide students with tablets for use in the classroom.

Howell said the firm would immediately advertise the interim position on TeachIowa as well as its website and Facebook page. Applicants for the position would be screened and the firm would recommend four to five candidates.

From those semifinalists, Howell said the board could conduct in person interviews with three finalists to fill the interim position by June 25 in order for the individual to begin their duties July 1.

A similar search process would be used for the full-time superintendent. However, Howell said the firm could also solicit input from identified focus groups from the school district and the community.

Howell said the firm would recommend advertising for the full-time position in November 2019.

“Most superintendent candidates will know by Christmas whether they want to go for a job or not,” Howell said.

A contract between the district and EDWise was considered for official approved during the regular monthly meeting of the board Wednesday, June 12.

In other business during the special meeting, the board approved increasing the licensed staff of the district by one full-time employee for the 2019-2020 school year.

A special meeting of the Board of Directors was also held Tuesday, June 4. During that meeting, Darin Sunderman was elected to serve as vice president of the board.

Director Scott McComb was appointed to serve on the finance and activities and technology committees. McComb was appointed to the board May 28 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Nola Bond. Bond had served on the three committees.

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