Interviews for McLouth USD 342 superintendent will begin next month
by Dennis Sharkey
Patrons of McLouth USD 342 could know who the next superintendent will be by February.
Last month Superintendent Jean Rush submitted her resignation to board members after they decided in October to not renew her contract. At that time the board voted to hire the Kansas Association of School Boards to conduct a search for a new superintendent.
Dr. Bill Majors with KASB told board members last week that there is high interest in the McLouth opening.
“I had one superintendent call me this afternoon and say, ‘What about McLouth?’” Majors said. “That’s very good news.”
Four applications for the position have been completed and another four sitting superintendents have called Majors in the last week to inquire.
Majors tasked board members to come up with a short list of leadership skills and personal qualities that each member would like to see in a superintendent. He told board members to think about what strengths the district has and how a particular person might continue to carry those strengths.
“We don’t want to take a step backwards,” Majors said. “We want to move forward.”
Majors also wants board members to think about where the district needs to improve.
During the interview process he also wants board members to think about a candidate’s desire for the position and how they envision that person leading the district.
“I really feel they have to want to come to McLouth not running away from something to McLouth,” Majors said. “There’s a big difference and I think you’ll want that too.”
Although there is a lot of interest in the McLouth job, Majors told board members that they must be thorough but a bit hasty at the same time.
Currently there are 17 open positions statewide and Majors expects that number to be at least 20 by next month. On average there are 55 openings each year.
Once the position is offered to a candidate he wants to move fast toward a decision and said he will push that person to decide in 24 hours after the offer.
“I don’t want them playing games and stalling out longer and longer and have you lose somebody,” he said.
Majors said the field will be narrowed down to about three or four final candidates. Each person will be brought in for a full day in which they will tour the school, meet with faculty and observe the day-to-day operations.
Toward the end of the day each candidate will be treated to a reception where staff members and the community will have an opportunity to ask questions.
Board members will be brought in during the late afternoon to begin an interview with the board. Majors said each interview will last about two and a half hours. The interviews will be conducted during a one week period.
It’s not clear when the new superintendent will take over for Rush. Last month Rush told the Independent that she planned on remaining until the end of the school year but did not give a definite answer that she would remain until the end of the school year.
In other actions:
- The district is accepting bids on two pottery wheels, a bucket loader and an assortment of electronic equipment. The electronic equipment will be sold as one item.
- High School Principal Mike Bogard reported that the school has to restructure the way some state math assessments are administered. The test is now given to juniors in the fall rather than when they are sophomores in the spring.
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