Roaring Fork School Board moves ahead with superintendent search

Darian Armer
Special to the Post Independent

The Roaring Fork School District Board of Education laid out its plan and tentative timeline for hiring a new superintendent during its regular meeting Feb. 9, with a goal of selecting and naming a new superintendent at its April 27 meeting.

“April 27 is the goal and recommendation by (Hazard, Young, Attea Associates). We need to decide on it publicly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change it,” Board President Kathryn Kuhlenberg said. “It’s a roadmap of where we’re going.”

During a special meeting of the Board of Education on Jan. 28, the board voted to move forward with Hazard, Young, Attea Associates, to assist with the district’s superintendent’s hiring process. HYA conducted the last RFSD superintendent search in 2012.

Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein

The board has begun the search process following Superintendent Rob Stein’s announcement that he is stepping down from his role at the end of this school year.

HYA is currently accepting applications for the superintendent position, which closes March 25. HYA will also conduct community forums and focus groups with key stakeholders to develop a Leadership Profile Report. Generally, these include PTA/PTO leaders, parent advisory groups, students, the current superintendent, principals, assistant principals, teachers, foundation leaders, union leadership, community leaders and others as the district sees fit.

Kuhlenberg explained during the meeting that a Leadership Profile Report is a comprehensive document that brings together the comments and feedback heard from the community as part of their service to really reflect what the community is looking for in its next superintendent.

The board voted to approve the superintendent hiring process as amended, with a few small changes to dates. There was no decision made regarding salary and fringe benefits for the superintendent position.

HYA will likely present five to eight candidates to the board for first-round interviews, depending on the number of qualified applicants. Finalist interviews will be conducted by the board the week of April 11-18, before the board selects a preferred candidate and negotiates a contract.

HYA will work with the board to provide advertising services. The board members discussed their preferences for moving forward with advertising, and all expressed their desire to go with HYA’s Package 2, at a cost of $3,400, including advertising across multiple national professional platforms. Board members also expressed a desire to pay for the additional Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents and the National Alliance of Black School Educators advertising package for $520.

Board member Jasmin Ramirez told the board she felt advertising to the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents was very important considering student demographics. There is always a need for more bilingual educators and administrators, she said.

Following is the draft timeline for the superintendent search:


Engage Phase

Feb. 9: Planning meeting

Feb. 14: Individual board member interviews with HYA

Feb. 21 to March 4: Community survey

Feb. 21 to March 1: HYA facilitates focus groups

Feb. 28: HYA hosts community and all staff forums

March 9: HYA presentation of Leadership Profile Report with recommended selection criteria

Recruit Phase

Jan. 27 to March 15: National advertising

Jan. 28/29: Applications open

March 25: Applications close

Now to March 25: HYA recruits candidates

As applications come in: HYA interviews, screens and reference checks candidates

March 30: Present slate of candidates to Board of Education

March 30: Board selects candidates for first round interviews

March 30: HYA and board prepare interview questions and scenarios for first round interviews

Select Phase

April 4: Board conducts first round interviews

April 4: Board narrows first round field to finalists

April 11-18: Board conducts finalist(s) interviews (may need to be adjusted for spring break)

April 11-18: Board holds forums (optional), site visits (optional)

April 18: Board identifies preferred candidate

April 18: Optional independent background check

April 18: Board negotiates contract

April 27: Board selects and names new superintendent

Transition Phase

May/June/July: Board workshop to develop (or review) governance and communication protocols, outline 100-day plan and draft superintendent goals

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