The Fort Calhoun Community Schools (FCCS) School Board determined six candidates to interview for the district’s next superintendent during a special work session meeting Thursday night.
The six candidates are:
• Ames Community Schools Executive Director of Elementary Education Dr. Chad Dumas
• Fort Calhoun High School Principal Jerry Green
• Anselmo-Merna Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Logan Lightfoot
• Loup City Public Schools Superintendent Angela Simpson
• Fort Calhoun Elementary Principal and School Improvement Director Drew Wagner
• Fort Calhoun High School Assistant Principal and Athletics Director Nick Wemhoff
The interviews will take place Feb. 12 and 13. Three interviews will take place each day. A finalized schedule will be emailed to board members, said Shari Becker, the director of the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB) superintendent search service.
The FCCS School Board hired NASB to perform superintendent search services for the district in November. The district's current superintendent, Don Johnson, announced in November that he would retire at the end of the school year after 30 years with the district.
Though times for the interviews were not finalized Thursday, the interview candidates will meet with different stakeholder groups and go on district and community tours individually before being interviewed by the school board. The process will be the same for all candidates including those from within FCCS.
Candidates selected for interviews will spend a few hours within the district on the day they are interviewed. They will complete a district facility tour with Johnson, visit with teachers and other district staff and complete a community tour with a couple of Fort Calhoun residents before interviewing with the school board.
Becker said she met Thursday with FCCS staff and community members who will meet with and tour with the candidates as stakeholders.
"We gave them sample interview questions and we talked about how they would get that information back to the board. So, list of strengths, list of weaknesses," Becker said.
During the work session, Becker asked board members if they would like the stakeholders' input individually or as a group. Board member Mike Conrad said he would prefer individual comments.
"I think you'd probably get a more honest answer individually," board member Kim Lukasiewicz said.
After the board finishes interviewing each candidate, board members could discuss each person's perceived strengths in an open session for the public. Board members could also read stakeholders' written comments on candidate strengths in open session.
The board would then go into closed session to discuss candidates perceived weaknesses, and read the stakeholders' comments on weaknesses. In closed session, the board would discuss and attempt to come to a consensus on who they would like to offer the position.
The board would then come back to open session and make a motion to enter into negotiation with their top candidate, Becker said, and could make a second motion to negotiate with a second candidate.
"The reason you do that is, you never know what's going to happen," Becker told board members."It's just a suggestion that you have that in place already so if something does fall through with candidate X, your board president can move on knowing he has the support of the board without coming back together in another special meeting."
Candidates' names would not be used in any motion. Board President Jon Genoways would contact any candidate the board would offer the position. Becker said NASB normally contacts those candidates that are not offered the position, unless the board would decide to contact them.