Search for a superintendent update

Megan Cleveland, features writer

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After a year of evaluating resumés, the KSD school board expects to announce the new superintendent in January 2018. During the search for the new permanent superintendent, Dr. Michele Condon is serving as the interim, or temporary, superintendent and will step down June 30, 2018.

“I wanted to make sure that we continue as a high quality and functioning school district,” Condon said. “I didn’t want there to be a stop in any of the services we provide for our kids and families while the board was searching for the new superintendent.”

Dr. Tom Williams, former KSD superintendent, announced his retirement after serving for eight years. Following his retirement, the board immediately began its search for the next superintendent in January 2017. In order to have enough time to search for qualified applicants, KSD contacted Condon in May 2016 to fill in as the interim superintendent for the 2016-2017 school year.

“I hope whoever is chosen realizes the potential we have here because I want them to ensure that all our kids are achieving,” Condon said. “I hope the next superintendent will be able to continue the great academic growth of all our kids, but also be able to reach out to those kids who are developing that growth.”

In the beginning of the hiring process, the school board had quarterly meetings with the community, staff and students to formulate a leadership profile for the new superintendent. KHS selected Kaleb Owens, sophomore, along with 11 other students from different grade levels to voice their opinion on the new superintendent.

“We wanted to make sure the superintendent is active and is equal to all groups of people,” Owens said. “Students including myself need the superintendent to be more than just a name. They need to be a person who will actually contribute to the student body.”

Next, the school board hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), a consultant firm, to find qualified candidates who would continue to strengthen the school district. HYA found interest from 67 applicants from 10 states during November 2016. Throughout the process, Darnel Frost, KSD school board president, worked with HYA and board members to select the final candidate who could fulfill the district’s needs.

“We need a superintendent who’s going to not only continue the success we have, but take us to the next level,” Frost said. “We want this person to interact with the kids and serve the community well.”

After interviewing the applicants, HYA narrowed the search to 37 select candidates to be interviewed and evaluated. After extensive background checks conducted by the school board and HYA, the board chose four candidates as semi-finalists for the superintendent position. KSD will announce the new superintendent in January 2018.

“This process has been a learning experience to see how things play out,” Frost said. “We spend a lot of time in a lot of meetings, with a lot of new people and having different discussions regarding the search, but it’s all to ensure the students in our district get what they need, which is a good leader to guide them into the future.”