Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre school district Board of Trustees interviewed the first two finalists for the position of Havre superintendent of schools, following sessions where members of the community and staff members of the schools questioned the candidates about their philosophies and what policies they would bring to the district if hired. Both Glenn Hageman and Paul Huber, when asked by the school board if they had anything they wanted to add, said that between the community meeting and the board question everything seemed to have been covered. “I don’t think you’ve missed anything,” Hageman told the board. Hageman, superintendent of the Glasgow school district, and Huber, grand coordinator for the Wolf Point district, were the first of four candidates being interviewed for the position. Huntley Project School District Superintendent David Mahon and Hot Springs School District Superintendent Larry Markuson are scheduled to tour the Havre district and be interviewed today. The board is expected to select a final candidate for contract negotiations after its interviews tonight. The board expects to approve the contract for the selected candidate at its March 10 regular meeting. Superintendent Dennis Parman, who has held the position for two years after working for 10 years as assistant superintendent for the Havre district, will take a new position as deputy superintendent for the state Office of Public Instruction July 1. State Superintendent Denise Juneau announced her selection of Parman as her deputy while she was waiting to take office in December. The two days of interviews are set identically. The candidates tour the community and schools and meet with groups of the district’s staff members the day before meeting in a question and answer session with community and staff members at 3:30 and 4:15 p. m., then being interviewed by the board at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Background of the candidates The two candidates told the board and the audience about 10 people attended the interviews conducted by the school board about their background. Hageman said he was born and raised in Jordan and received a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in foreign language from Eastern Montana College, now Montana State University-Billings, and received his gradate degree from Montana State University in Bozeman. After teaching in Montana schools for 16 years, Hagemen said, he became an administrator, working three years each in Ekalaka and Terry and then six years in Sheridan. For the last six years he has worked in the Glasgow school district, and is the vice president of the Montana High School Association. Huber said he grew up in the Wichita, Kan., area and spent his first years in the education system teaching high school science at Wichita High School West. From 1977 to 1982 he taught at Dodson High School in Montana, and studied for his master’s degree at that time. He received his master’s from Montana State University. He then worked as a coach, activities director and principal at St. Regis, then worked as vice principal at Dawson County High School in Glendive before becoming district superintendent at Roy and then Bainville. Huber said he worked as superintendent at the Wolf Point schools from 2003 to 2007, then left to take care of some family business in Texas before returning to Wolf Point as grant coordinator. Approaches to leadership During their meetings with community and staff members and their interviews with the board, both Hageman and Huber gave similar answers in regards to involving the school board, district staff and community members in their operation of the district. Huber did make one comment that stood out when asked about district reading programs he is not a fan of the requirements of No Child Left Behind. “One of the most criminal things George Bush put in place is No Child Left Behind,” he said, adding that he can still work with elements of the program. Both Hageman and Huber talked about their desire to keep all, from the school board through the community members, informed and involved in the district When asked about making decisions if faculty, facilities or programs need to be eliminated, Hageman said involving the public and the staff is key. He said a school was closed under his tenure in Glasgow, and while it was difficult, he involved the public from the start and that it was probably a good decision for the district. “It’s almost a must that you involve the public,” Hageman said, adding that the same process would be necessary if an educational program was being reviewed for cancellation. Huber said much the same. The process would involve looking at what is needed to provide a quality education and what is required by state standards, and what the district can afford, he said. “You have to work it backwards,” Huber said. Making sure all members of the district and community know what is happening also is crucial, he said there should be no surprises. Huber added that he expects that with Havre’s strategic planning, it should not be difficult to predict changes several years before they have to occur. “Without any big shockers you should see where you would be in five years, I would think,” Huber said. Huber also emphasized the importance of going out to meet with faculty and staff in the schools to know what their issues are. “They aren’t going to go into the superintendent’s office, my office, and talk to me. I have to to go to them,” he said. Hageman also talked about the strategic plan of the district and communicating with the school board, staff and community when asked about how he would approach defining the district’s mission and vision. In looking at the mission of the district, Hageman said, he would need to look at its fiveyear comprehensive plan, then take input from the board, teachers and administrators. That would help him give input on where the district should go, Hageman said. “I need to know where it’s been first,” he said. Huber said the impact a superintendent can have on a district can be good or bad a superintendent who doesn’t take the job seriously can cause long-lasting damage, he said. “I don’t take myself seriously, I take my job seriously,” he said.