The first, and possibly last, two applicants will be interviewed in early May to fill the position of superintendent of Havre Public Schools. Board of Trustees Chairperson Shad Huston at a board planning meeting Tuesday night declined to name the individuals until they can be notified. The position is currently filled by Interim Superintendent Andy Carlson, who was appointed to the post after Dave Mahon resigned for "personal reasons" in January, after not even seven months in the post. Carlson, who is working to attain his superintendent's endorsement, applied for the position and excused himself from the meeting room while trustees discussed the issue. Four completed applications were received in mid-April, but based on a screening tool, two stood out, Huston said. "This is not setting anything into stone whatsoever," Huston said. After the interview process, if the applicants are deemed not to be good fits for the school district, trustees can consider reopening the job position for applications or continuing to fill the post with an interim superintendent possibly into the 2010-2011 school year until a suitable applicant is found. Action on a contract, if one of the two applicants is chosen, could be as soon as the May 11 meeting or at the June 8 meeting. "Or we might end up saying, 'No, we're not interested,'" Huston said. Monday, May 3, was suggested as a date for interviews, which would mean that if trustee candidate Mark Magelssen is elected and unseats either incumbent Shad Huston or Norm Proctor, he will not have been involved in the executive session that the trustees will likely go into after publicly interviewing each applicant. Magelssen has been attending board meetings but would still have some catchup to play. "That is why we have a board, is to provide that guidance to the newly elected trustee," Huston said. The discussion of hiring a permanent superintendent also involved a discussion about how to handle personnel at the administrative level. The administration has been cut down to three main positions: superintendent, clerk, and director of personnel and special services. "Those are large chunks to take away from the district," Carlson said, Adding that to return to having an assistant clerk and assistant superintendent would be wonderful but is unlikely. Making those cuts has not been a positive thing for the district, Proctor said. "I think it kind of set us back, actually," he said. With the clerk and director of personnel/special services both at retirement age, some discussions should take place about reorganizing top positions and responsibilities and perhaps adding more staff, Carlson said. Board Vice Chairperson Aileen Couch asked to have the areas that have suffered from a lack of attention because of a lack of staff defined to better equip the board to make decisions about how to get that work and the other work of administration done well.
2 superintendent finalists to be interviewed
Published: Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
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