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School District waiting for last-minute applicants

By Staff | Mar 26, 2011

Since the Lee County School District went “live” with its first job posting for the superintendent position five weeks ago, it has received 21 applications as of Friday morning.
Board member Jane Kuckel said the applications that she has looked through so far have not met the qualifications of having experience in school districts with at least 30,000 students. Some of the applicants, she said, have also not had any superintendent experience.
She anticipates that they will receive more applications before the deadline of April 1 because the highly qualified applicants won’t send their applications in until the very end.
“I have a feeling that there will be several mailed in this weekend,” Kuckel said. She said they will take the applications as long as they are post marked by April 1.
David Hall, chairman of the Superintendent Search Citizens Committee, said the experts have told them that they likley will receive 40 to 45 applications before the deadline. He said he expects the remainder of the applications to flood in at the very end.
“We are in that very patient time where we are waiting for the applications to get here,” Hall said.
He said the vast majority of the applicants have been out of state. One more applicant interested in the position from Florida has been received since the beginning of March.
Chris Wood from Lake Butler has been the principal at Union County High School since 2010. His work experience includes principal, assistant principal, athletic administrator, basketball and cross country coach and assistant coach.

Other candidates include:
n Vincent Cotter has been the superintendent of schools for the Colonial School District since 2000. Other experience includes principal, assistant principal and teacher.
n Wilfredo Laboy is currently the superintendent of schools for Lawrence Public Schools. Other experience includes assistant superintendent of schools, director of pupil personnel services, principal, director of bilingual education, special assistant to the superintendent, director outreach/migrant education, pastor/assistant principal in charge and youth director.
n Michael Eaglowski has been the superintendent of Mad River Local Schools for the past five years. Other experience includes principal, assistant principal and teacher.
n Joel Anderson has been the director of curriculum and instruction since 2005 for the Warren County Career Center. Other experience includes being a principal.
n Fadhilika Atiba-Weza has been the superintendent of Enlarged City School District of Troy since 2007. Other experience includes assistant superintendent, coordinator/principal of career & technical occupational education, administrative assistant for computer instruction, project manager/principal, director of summer instructional program, director of regents competency test preparation program and teacher.
n Lynne Kratochvil is currently a part-time teacher at Heritage Academy Grades Middle School. Other experience includes coordinator of evening education, principal and teacher.
n Charles Planz was the interim assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Central Islip Public Schools from 2008-2010. Other experience includes interim superintendent for personnel, board observer, senior marketing consultant, chief school administrator, program development, director of pupil personnel services and director for program evaluation and research.
n Theodore Kozlik has been the assistant superintendent for Westfield Public Schools since 1986. Other experience includes director of pupil personnel services, director of special services, coordinator of special services, learning disability teacher and teacher.
n James Herrholtz has been a superintendent since 2009. Other experience includes superintendent, principal and assistant principal.
The Superintendent Search Citizens Committee will meet on April 6 to start talking about the applicants. Hall said they will talk about the applicant pool as a committee before they break down into groups.
“Each group will go off and research the applications,” he said.
On April 14, Hall said the committee will come up with its top five suggested candidates; the list will be turned over to the board on April 15.
On April 15, the five individuals chosen will receive information about the events that will take place in May.
On May 11 at 6 p.m. the district will hold a welcoming dinner for board members, candidates and their spouses. The following day beginning at 8 a.m. candidates will meet the superintendent’s cabinet.
A lunch and an educational tour of the district will follow the interviews that Thursday. Later that night from 6:30 p.m. -8 p.m. a community reception will be held.
The second round of interviews on May 13 will include the Superintendent Search Committee, which consists of 20 community members, 10 district employees and five students. Each candidate also will be put through an experience-based interview, writing prompt and a presentation prompt.
The process will conclude with a workshop by the board members to determine the top candidates on May 17 at 9 a.m.
The school board has tentatively set June 1 as the hire date for a new superintendent and July 1 as the date he/she should start to be a apart of next year’s budget process.