by Sally Scott Moore
Hinsdale County School Board members met Thursday, April 19, for a special meeting. Executive session discussion regarding Hinsdale County’s formal response and the county request for a meeting date for Secure Rural Schools negotiations was the primary agenda item. Also on the Lake City Community School docket was in-depth planning in the hiring search for an interim district superintendent, as well as strategizing for Hinsdale County’s BEST grant presentation scheduled May 16.
Board President Phil Virden officiated at the meeting which included Rob Hudgeons and Tara Hardy. Board member Bill Reinhardt joined the meeting by phone following the executive session. Elizabeth Stuntz was not present for the proceedings.
The school board was sequestered for 25 minutes of discussion regarding the SRS issue. No motions or agenda items were forthcoming afterwards.
The hectic 2017-18 school year has seen important changes. Early on, the dissolution of the Creede-Lake City Co-Op created controversy and stress. Afterward, the launch of a fresh sports program made headlines, as did the enormous administrative push for a new school facility.
The facility initiative, with complicated BEST grant application and marketing to the public, has suddenly been eclipsed by a hunt for new administrative leadership.
Dr. Leslie Nichols recently announced she is resigning to take the helm of the larger Gunnison School District. Her imminent departure has precipitated an expeditious need to find a well-qualified replacement.
During the March board meeting, members voted to seek an interim replacement and then make a comprehensive search for a “good fit,” permanent replacement.
With the school year quickly slipping away, Virden outlined the no-nonsense schedule for the interview process.
Monday, April 23, was designated as the deadline for applications for the interim post. April 24 at 5:30 p.m. the School Board reviewed the candidate list and began to narrow the field of applicants. On Friday, April 27, the top three finalists for the interim principal/superintendent will be announced.
It was quickly decided that a mixed committee composed of several school board members and staff will join one community representative and one school parent to participate in the Monday, May 7, interview process, beginning at 9 a.m. Committee members will ask pre-determined questions of the various top candidates. A “meet and greet” reception will be held at the Moseley Arts Center at 5 p.m. to give the community members an opportunity to meet the candidates.
Plans were also formulated for the BEST presentation on Wednesday, May 16. The Build Excellent Schools Today grant application was submitted in late February and the next step is the personal presentation the BEST board by several of the school board members. The short, two-minute proposal is designed to elicit questions from the BEST board members.
Scheduled for mid-afternoon on May 16, the presentation will be made at the Jeffco administration building in Denver. “We are working on the script right now,” said Virden, who plans to take several other board members with him for the presentation.
by Sally Scott Moore