SCC principal among superintendent finalistsThe St. Croix Central School Board has been engaged since December in a comprehensive search process to replace Superintendent Dan Woll, who will be retiring from the District in August.
The St. Croix Central School Board has been engaged since December in a comprehensive search process to replace Superintendent Dan Woll, who will be retiring from the District in August.
The names of the three finalists were released March 11. The candidates are Kirk Nelson from PCM Schools, Prairie City, Iowa; Glenn Webb, principal at St. Croix Central High School and Scott Woodington, principal at St. Croix Central Middle School. The Board will be releasing a plan for allowing the community to meet them, react and provide feedback to the Board.
To help initiate the process of replacing Woll, two professional search firms were interviewed by the Board. After discussion the Board selected the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) search service. Shortly thereafter WASB consultant Dennis Richards met with the Board and assisted them in holding community focus groups. These groups were led by consultant Richards and included every segment of the community as well as an “all-comers” session. The discussions gathered information about perceived strengths and weaknesses of the District and stakeholder perceptions of what kind of person is needed to work with those variables to best move the St. Croix Central District ahead.
With that information in hand, the superintendent position at St. Croix Central was advertised through the print and electronic channels available to the WASB. The Board received 16 applications for the position. This number is in line with the number of applications being received by districts through out the state. In fact, some districts report application pools in the single digits. This is a reflection of the declining pool of administrators, the large number of jobs open as baby boomer superintendents retire and a housing market that makes it very risky for young administrative candidates to consider relocation.
The Board evaluated the written applications of all 16 candidates and narrowed the field to six candidates that they would like to interview. At this time, the Board has interviewed those six candidates. The field was cut once more to three finalists.
According to District officials, the community will be invited to meet and participate in the interview process. There are many reasons for the initial screening being done confidentially.
District officials report that the logistics of the situation demand a narrower process to begin with, and candidate privacy is also a very significant factor. State law allows boards to protect the identity of applicants until finalists are selected.
Because of the political considerations of the superintendent position, District officials say that candidates are very reluctant to apply and undergo preliminary interviews because they often end up in their hometown media. At the final interview level, publicity is a given that candidates must accept.