Members of the Deer Park School Board publically discussed the upcoming superintendent search for the first time in an April 23 forum at the high school.
The meeting, conducted by board members Joanne Greer and Jeff Whittle, outlined the timeline for the superintendent search as well as answer questions from the dozen district patrons and staff in attendance.
“We’re not starting over, we’re moving forward,” said Whittle on the search plan to find a replacement for Becky Berg, who will assume the superintendent post in the Marysville School District on July 1.
The school board, who will also meet with the district’s certified and classified staffs in a similar forum this week, are partnered with Educational Service District No. 101 to begin the superintendent search. ESD is already collecting applications.
Whittle said he would be surprised if the school district did not receive more than the 25 applications that the last superintendent search generated three years ago.
“Deer Park is in a good place,” added Greer on the school district’s ability to attract qualified superintendent candidates. “People in the state look at our schools.”
The school board, along with Deer Park Elementary School Principal Bonnie Remington and Deer Park Middle School Principal Tim Olletti, Director of Special Education Greg Schwartz and Business Manager Shauna Ferguson, will begin screening those applications on May 6.
Whittle hopes to have the search narrowed down to 6-7 candidates to begin the first round of interviews on May 10-11. Those interviews will be conducted by the school board and an advisory committee that will include two school administrators and selected staff and district patrons.
The school hopes to narrow those candidates to three finalists. Each finalist will have a day in the school district between May 14-16. The public will get a chance to meet the finalists in a 45-minute question-and-answer forum at 5 p.m. on those days.
While the board hopes to find Berg’s replacement by the end of the finalists’ interviews, Greer said there is contingency plans if no suitable candidate emerges, including hiring an interim superintendent for the upcoming school year.