Trustees prepare to winnow list of superintendent applicants

2012-04-29T23:45:00Z 2012-04-30T00:18:51Z Trustees prepare to winnow list of superintendent applicantsBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

School District 2 trustees on Monday night will go through their list of 18 superintendent candidates to decide on the top three or four to interview.

Trustees are hopeful to have a little more information on the applicants by the time the meeting begins.

The board hired search firm McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha, Neb., to advertise the job and find the candidates. From there, firm representatives expect to vet the applicants on the list and make recommendations to the board.

“I have not seen anything on the candidates,” said Chairwoman Teresa Stroebe. “They didn’t have anything for us.”

The board was given an initial list of 16 names on April 12 and another two names the following day.

Since then, trustees have performed a few Internet searches on the applicants and made a few phone calls.

Applicant interviews are set to follow the May 8 board elections. The current board deliberately chose to leave the interview process until after elections to give the new board ownership in the superintendent pick.

Applicants from Montana school districts are Randy Cline and Douglas Reisig from Missoula; Glenn Hageman from Glasgow and Leland Stocker from Gardiner.

Jim Nygaard of Cordova, Alaska, began his career in Montana and was a finalist for the superintendent job in Lockwood.

Perhaps the most intriguing applicant is Eric Ely, who applied for the SD2 job two years ago. At the time, he was superintendent in Schenectady, N.Y., and one of the district’s finalists.

Scandal in Schenectady ultimately pushed Ely out of the running. The facilities manager in Ely’s home district was convicted of arson and vandalism after he left pipe bombs on the property of district employees. Ely was on record defending the employee until the employee was charged and went to trial.

Ely is currently superintendent in Southbridge, Mass.

Rounding out the list is Ernest “Buddy” Reed from Texas; Raymond Arsenault from New Mexico; John Bute from Illinois; Ember Conley and Joseph Clark Farnsworth from Arizona; Barbara Thronson and Scott Crane from Idaho; Terry Nelson Bouck, David Gray and Shawn Woodward from Washington; James Benfield from Yadkinville, N.C. and Diane Cox from St. Louis, Mo.

Stroebe hoped information from McPherson & Jacobson would arrive to the district over the weekend or on Monday and that the firm would send someone to the meeting.

“I’m ready to roll,” she said. “I hope they are.”

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