School Board Hires Consultant for Superintendent Search

  • 2023-01-20, 07:40 AM
  • Rachel Dahl
School Board Hires Consultant for Superintendent Search

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met this week in a special meeting to hear and approve a presentation from consultant, Greg McKenzie of NextUp Leadership regarding the Superintendent search to replace Superintended Dr. Summer Stephens who recently submitted her resignation effective June 30, 2023.

McKenzie discussed the scope of work and proposed timeline for the superintendent search as well as the contract for his services in the amount of $9,500. Any additional travel and advertising costs are not to exceed $15,000 total. 

McKenzie served the district five years ago during the superintendent search that yielded Stephens. 

Trustees Tricia Strasdin, Matt Hyde, and Kathryn Whitaker will serve as a working group with McKenzie and meet as early as next week to begin the planning and organization phase of the process which will include determining the search criteria and candidate qualifications. 

His search calendar included organization and planning to take place from January 15 – 31, and identifying qualification and criteria through February 8, with a report to the board on that date where public input will be taken and a search calendar will be adopted along with a salary range. The advertising and recruiting phase will take place from February 9 through March 3, and another report will be made at the March 8 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The application review phase is scheduled to take place from March 9 – 24, and the interview process will take place from April 9 – 29 with four to six candidates being presented for a first interview and then the field being narrowed to a second round with only the top candidates. Simultaneously, extensive background and reference checks will be taking place.  

Theoretically, the announcement of a new superintendent would happen the early part of May and the approval of the hiring at the May 24 board meeting, with a start date of July 1, 2023. 
McKenzie presented the Position Overview document from the 2018 search, saying the criteria, standards, and profile developed in that document will formulate the upcoming search and is an extensive examination of the community and the district. That document was used to create the job announcement, including a salary of $135,000 to $150,000. McKenzie asked the board to be thinking about a potential salary range for this announcement.

Gaylene Drinkut, President of the Classified Association, asked during public comment that the board please involve the classified association president and the teachers’ union president as stakeholders in the process. 

During their regular board meeting last week, which was moved from Wednesday night to Thursday night, trustees elected leadership and committee positions including Tricia Strasdin as President, Matt Hyde as Vice-President, and Amber Getto who will serve as the Clerk of the board. Kathryn Whitaker will continue on the legislative committee of the Nevada Association of School Boards, while Strasdin will serve as director and Getto as alternate. New board member Joe McFadden will serve as the board representative to the Classified and the Teachers’ Association, a seat that is observational only. Getto will remain as the representative to the Administrators’ Association. Hyde will remain as the representative to the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association. 

During the meeting, Holly McPherson, the high school librarian and scholarship coordinator asked about the endowed scholarships, specifically if the district is tracking the interest on these endowments. Several of the scholarships are endowments, with only the interest being able to be used for scholarships. “Several of these scholarships we just give money and I’m wondering if the interest is being kept track of and being reported back,” she said. There is one scholarship that all the interest has been spent and the endowment remains, but according to the guidelines, the endowment can’t be spent so the owner of that scholarship is unhappy that now she cannot give money to graduates. 

Board Attorney, Sharla Hales explained that the process is convoluted. “Everyone of these is different and every one of them is a big headache,” she said. “If you want information, you should get it, but it is not going to be a one-size-fits-all answer and it is not going to be simple.”

She said the superintendent could send an email explaining the current practice. 

The school board of trustees meets once a month on the second Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the District Office, 690 S. Maine Street. 


Rachel Dahl



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