Committee screens superintendent candidate applications

Posted 3/29/10

Only the occasional rustle of papers penetrated the silence March 20 as the volunteer members of the committee screened the applications of the 20 …

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Committee screens superintendent candidate applications


Only the occasional rustle of papers penetrated the silence March 20 as the volunteer members of the committee screened the applications of the 20 candidates who want to be the next superintendent of Englewood schools.

The application screening is the most recent step in Englewood’s search for a new superintendent to fill the vacancy created when current superintendent Sean McDaniel announced Jan. 5 that he would be leaving the district June 30.

Bob Cito, who is a consultant with the Colorado Association of School Boards, was hired by the school board to help the district with the search process.

“These are the applications the candidates submitted and some portions are more important than others,” he said as he explained the process to the screening committee.

“But, as you review the material, I recommend you pay particular attention to the care the candidate took in preparing the application, and to what is said or not said in the recommendation letters.”

Cito said another important area to review is the response to the four questions the candidates were required to answer because the questions were developed from data he obtained when he conducted focus groups in the district and community early in the search process.

“These questions try to spell out the type of person the community wants to see hired as superintendent,” he said. “From all the focus groups, I got a strong message that the district employees, parents and community members want the person hired as superintendent to begin a long-term relationship with this entire community.”

He said another point stressed in the forums and reflected in the questions was that, particularly in this economy, it is important that the new superintendent know a lot about Colorado laws and the school finance act.

When Cito completed his briefing, the committee that was made up of school board members, residents, teachers and district employees was divided into two teams. During the day-long session, each committee member will evaluate every application.

Scott Gorsky, school board president, said he was please at the number of applications they received.

“I had expected we would get about this many applications and I am excited to review the information submitted by our candidates,” he said.

Cito agreed and said he expectations were Englewood would receive 18 to 25 applications so the 20 applications were in the ballpark

“All the names are confidential at this stage of the process so we can’t talk about personalities,” he said. “However, I can tell you there are three applications from out-of-state and one of the applications is from someone in the Englewood School District.”

He said he was impressed as he read the applications and he feels this is a very good pool of candidates. He added that the committee will have to make some hard choices in order to reach the goal of reducing the field of candidates to about 10 by the end of the day.

Cito then outlined the remaining steps in the search.

He said a team will check the references and do background checks on the semifinalists. Screeners will use that information along with data from the March 20 screening committee to trim the field to three of four finalists by March 25.

“Once we identify the finalists, we can release their names to the public,” Cito said. “Then, on April 9 and 10, the plan is to invite the finalists to Englewood, take them on a tour of the district and interview each of them. Like all the steps in the process, those interviews will be open to the public.”


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