The search for a Superintendent of Schools for the Churchill County School District ramped up this week when the Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 22 to hear from Consultant Greg McKenzie regarding the search to replace Superintendent Dr. Summer Stephens who has resigned effective June 30, 2023.
McKenzie presented a list of nine candidates to the board on Wednesday night, out of a candidate pool of 23 original applicants, whom he recommended for preliminary interviews. Board members unanimously approved the candidate recommendations.
The list of candidates was recommended after McKenzie met with a local community stakeholder group on March 8, who rated and ranked each applicant. The stakeholders were made up of 14 members of administrators, classified, licensed, union representatives, parents, and community representatives who reviewed the applications.
“These nine were all recommended by the group,” he said. “It’s not as much information you would like, I realize, but it’s as much as I feel like I can give, especially about the candidates not currently selected.”
The hiring process has limitations in the open meeting process due to the nature of the human resources laws and restrictions, as well as the district wishing to be sensitive to candidates who may be applying and do not wish their current employers to be aware of their actions.
McKenzie said that he was pleased and surprised with the number of applicants his search produced. Beginning on February 9, working with Human Resources Manager Annette Cooper, several online postings with school administrator association job boards were made, a direct email campaign to western states’ administrators that reached over 16,000 administrators was completed, and announcements were posted on LinkedIn and in EdWeek, an industry publication.
Efforts yielded 23 candidate applications by the deadline, with a majority of those having a Nevada connection.
“This number of candidates exceeds the range expected for this search,” said McKenzie in a written report supplied to the board. “I’m pleased with the number of candidates.”
Members of the Application Review Committee were required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement prohibiting them from disclosing any information about the candidates and the candidate field, both during reviews and into the future.
The committee was tasked to review all the applications and make recommendations to the consultant about who should be interviewed for the position. Each reviewer submitted a list of recommended candidates to McKenzie who organized and compiled the results for presentation to the board on Wednesday evening.
McKenzie reported that of the original 23 candidates, 12 have a Nevada connection, one of the board’s wishes, 13 have superintendent or district office experience, nine are bilingual, and all have building-level administrative experience. Of the nine chosen for interviews, six are from Nevada, one from Arizona, and two are from California.
During the March 22 meeting the board also discussed the process and scheduling of the interviews, as well as future steps of the search. After much discussion, the board agreed they will hold interviews on April 13, beginning at 5 p.m., and on April 14 beginning at 1 p.m.
Interviews will be held in public sessions in an open board meeting, and all board members will ask questions of the candidates. He said there should be 8-12 major questions with follow-up for each candidate. He asked each board member to formulate 2-3 questions. He will make available relevant portions of the candidate’s file during the interviews.
After the interviews are completed, McKenzie will facilitate a discussion among the board members about the results of the interviews in hopes of narrowing the field to three to four candidates. At that point, the board will make decisions about inviting finalists to visit the district, plan meet and greet activities for the staff and community, perform background checks, and schedule second interviews.
We will continue to report on the search process.
Thank you, Fallon Post.