The final two Billings School District 2 superintendent
candidates interviewed separately with the school board Tuesday
night, leaving trustees now with the task of choosing their next
The board plans to make a final decision and offer one of the
candidates the job in the next two weeks. After the final two
interviews, Chairman Malcolm Goodrich raised the possibility of
visiting the trustees’ top picks at their current school
The board’s superintendent search committee will meet Thursday
at noon to take comment from the public. Trustees then will meet
again Monday night to discuss their top candidates.
“We’ve got five outstanding candidates — that’s absolutely
clear,” Goodrich said.
Scott Rogers, a superintendent from Rupert, Idaho, interviewed
first and spoke at length about the importance of balancing data
with spending time in the classroom. He said it was vital for
superintendents to connect and communicate with staff and community
“I believe that’s just the way you do business in public
schools,” he said. “You involve the public.”
Following Rogers was Eric Ely, a superintendent from
Schenectady, N.Y. He spoke about the importance of mapping student
achievement and understanding data.
“Data drives everything we do,” he said. “Data is critical to
The board spent a lot of time asking the two candidates about
handling funding shortfalls and passing mill levies.
Rogers talked about how his district was able to avoid cuts last
year by striking a deal with the teachers, support staff and
administrators to take four furlough days.
“We pulled together and people just amazed me,” he said.
Ely said sometimes making cuts are a reality and that he strived
to run a financially conservative district.
“We don’t fund field trips,” he said as an example.
Instead, classrooms and schools are charged with raising their
own money to go out on activities, he said.
Both said they’re eager to get to work and apply their talents
to Billing’s specific challenges.
Contact Rob Rogers at email@example.com or at