Billings School District 2 Board trustees spent Tuesday night going over the applications of 22 candidates who are looking to be the district’s next superintendent.
Trustees met for about 3 1/2 hours and will meet again Wednesday. Trustees hope to pare the list down to five to seven candidates, but didn’t winnow the list down at all Tuesday.
Bob Vogel, an official with the Montana School Boards Association, which is assisting the district in its search, said the board will choose finalists at its regular board meeting Monday.
Those finalists will then be brought into Billings March 1 and 2 for interviews with the board and to meet the public.
Candidates have applied from as far afield as Schenectady, N.Y.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Alberta; and Houston. Closer to home, Josh Middleton, superintendent of the Laurel School District, applied, as did superintendents from Boulder, Ronan and Glasgow.
“I think we’re seeing a good cross section,” said Malcolm Goodrich, board president.
Vogel said the board did dismissed one candidate from its initial field of 23 applicants.
Trent Blankenship from North Slope Borough, Alaska, didn’t complete his application by deadline, Vogel said, so trustees took him out of the mix.
The application process was lengthy and required applicants to answer a series of essay questions designed to gauge their administrative and education philosophies and qualifications.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., the nine-member board divided into three groups and started reading through piles of applications. Goodrich said he has liked what he’s seen.
“It’s looking really good,” he said. “Some exciting people.”
Specifically, trustees are looking for candidates who have experience managing large districts that have dealt with financial problems, issues School District 2 faces.
The district began its superintendent search after Superintendent Jack Copps announced in November that he would resign his post at the end of the school year. He’s been superintendent for four years.
Contact Rob Rogers at email@example.com or at 406-657-1231.