ALAMOSA — After an intensive search for an individual to permanently fill the role of superintendent of the Alamosa School District, the school board announced this week a list of three finalists for the position. From a large pool of candidates and a thorough review of more than 100 pages of documents submitted as part of the application process, board members have selected current Interim ASD superintendent Marsha Cody, Danny Brackett and Diana Jones to continue in the interview process.
The process of hiring for the position has, to this point, lasted roughly three months involving multiple steps, much of which was done in consultation with McPherson and Jacobsen, an executive recruitment and development firm that specializes in hiring school superintendents. That process was designed to provide as much transparency as possible including discussion in open meetings. It also involved a review of the job description, development of selection procedures that aligned with those skills and abilities the board is seeking in a superintendent as well as narrowing down of the pool of applicants to a group of semi-finalists and then, as was announced in the meeting, finalists to be considered.
The result of the rigorous recruitment of qualified applicants ultimately consisted of a pool of 26 “very strong” individuals who come from “across the nation” with backgrounds that varied from experience in large school districts to experience in smaller districts, individuals with a significant amount of superintendent experience to those who are just recently credentialed, individuals with skills in budget analysis to those who are adept at analyzing how decisions filter down to student performance.
With the exception of the finalists, the names of the applicants and the materials they submitted in the application process will remain confidential. However, information about Cody, Brackett and Jones will be made public in the coming days.
Prior to voting on the resolution that declared the three names, the board spent a few minutes discussing their functioning as a board in the previous months. Members reported being pleased with the “rigorous discussions and debates”, the “amount of time and energy each board member had invested in reviewing a large amount of materials” and the board’s ability “to speak candidly and openly yet respectfully about differences of opinions.”
In discussing the quality of the candidates, there were statements that “each one brings something unique to the table,” and “each of the three candidates have the qualities the district needs to move forward and achieve district goals.”
The interview process, which will take place on April 12 and 23, appears to be as rigorous as the recruitment and selection process has been so far.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 12, the candidates will be given a tour of the district to familiarize themselves – if they are not already – with the environment. Starting at 3:30 that afternoon, each of the three finalists will then interview for 45 minutes with a group of teachers and 45 minutes with a group from administration. That will conclude at 6:30pm. From 5pm to 9:55pm, each finalist will be subsequently interviewed individually by the members of the Board of Education for roughly 1.5 hours.
Wednesday, April 13, will start with a continuation of the tour from the day before. Starting at 3:45pm that afternoon, the finalists will be introduced to an assembled collection of 3 groups of stakeholders -- parents, students and community members – during which each finalist will share a brief description of their biography. Following that introduction, the finalists will go into round two of interviews where they will meet individually with each of those three groups of stakeholders.
After compiling, reviewing and discussing the interview results, it is anticipated that, on Thursday, April 14, the board will vote on which individual is selected for the position, after which they will enter into negotiations.
A copy of the Resolution reads as follows:
DECLARING FINALISTS FOR SUPERINTENDENT
OF THE ALAMOSA SCHOOL DISTRICT
WHEREAS, the Board of Education has lawfully conducted a superintendent search pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-6-402 (3.5); and
WHEREAS, the Board has decided upon three finalists for the position of Superintendent;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND DECLARED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF ALAMOSA SCHOOL DISTRICT:
The following persons are finalists for the position of Superintendent for Alamosa School District, in no specific order:
Approved this 1st day of April, 2020, by a unanimous Board vote.