Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Superintendent applicants up to 11


January 11, 2018

The Haines Borough School District could have a new superintendent by the end of February.

Interim superintendent Rich Carlson said, as of Tuesday’s school board meeting, 11 people applied for the position. He said he expects between 13 and 15 applicants by the close of the application period on Monday, Jan. 15.

“The first couple days after Christmas I was panicking a little bit but we’ve gotten quite a few applications in since then,” Carlson said.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 16, the applications will be available to the public at the school’s district office. Board president Anne Marie Palmieri said this is the first time that community members and staff have been offered the opportunity to share their input on all the applicants, instead of just the finalists. A form will be provided to write critiques of the applicants’ qualifications.

“It may be that there are community members in town who have worked with an applicant or know someone who has,” Palmieri said. “We have a lot of information tentacles out there so we just want to make sure that we get a complete picture using all of our resources.”

A search committee - made up of students, staff, board members and community members – will review all of the applications and recommend to the school board on Jan. 24 which candidates should be semi-finalists.

The school board, along with two committee representatives, will decide in a special meeting on Jan. 25 to approve or disapprove those recommendations.

Lenise H. Fontenot, who the board hired last month to assist with the superintendent hire, will facilitate the search committee and help the board write interview questions.

“From that point until Feb. 1, Patti Carlson will be doing reference checks,” Carlson said.

Patti Carlson, Rich Carlson’s wife, will meet with the board to share her findings on Feb. 1, after a regular board meeting, and on Feb. 9.

The semi-finalists will move on to have a Skype interview with the board on Feb. 3. Those interviews will be open to the public. On that day, the board will go into executive session to choose finalists.

“I think the process that we’re planning for the next six weeks in the superintendent search, we’re trying to be very inclusive of staff and community members and really try to utilize the knowledge and strengths that we have in our community and I’m excited about that,” Palmieri said. “I think this process has been more Haines-centered than the process was last time.”

Finalists will travel to Haines on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Rich Carlson said the candidates will go through the “dog and pony show” by meeting with staff and students, touring the school and having a “meet and greet” with the community. In-person interviews with the school board, that are also open to the public, will be Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Board member Sara Chapell said the interview could include a standard question and answer session, demonstration of skill like a writing assignment, or a mock meeting or “discussion among interest groups” to observe how a candidate conducts his or herself in a public setting.

If the board decides to issue a contract to a finalist, they will go into negotiations in executive session that day.


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