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Charter Authority narrows list for new school superintendent

By Staff | Jul 13, 2017

The Cape Coral Charter School Authority on Thursday narrowed down its search for a new superintendent, and in two weeks is expected to winnow the field even further.

In Council Chambers at city hall, the board chose six semi-finalists with whom they will conduct Skype interviews on July 27 starting at 9 a.m.

The field includes the current interim superintendent Jacque Collin as well as Lois Cavucci, Michelle Imbrunone, Stephen Stohla, Jeffrey McCartney and Monty Aldrich.

Before the widdling down process, there were some concerns by Authority member Tami Traiger regarding the relationship between the City Council and the school governing board and if a vote was warranted. She motioned to put off the search until the end of the year, when a new City Council will be in place.

“I’m uncertain about the relationship with City Council and right now it’s not where it should be. Putting a new leader into that climate could be detrimental,” Traiger said.

Odette Boyer echoed those concerns, asking what if the City Council dissolves the authority, as it considered in May. She said the person who becomes superintendent should know who they’re going to deal with.

Boyer did not second the motion, so it died right there, though their feelings were understood.

“We need to make clear we operate as ourselves. We need to look at what the best interests of the kids are,” Authority member Sam Fisher said.

“We can’t control what the issues are. We need to play a part in finding good leadership for the schools,” Authority member Russell Winstead said. “We have the support of the public and we have the responsibility to make the decision.”

The candidates ran the gamut in regards to experience. Cavucci works as a consultant for Catholic School management in Venice. Inbrunone was superintendent in Goodrich, Mich. Stohla is a retired administrator from Brookfield, Ohio. Aldrich was a finalist for the Cape position three years ago; he is a school superintendent in Louisville, Ill. McCartney is superintendent for the Beecher, Ill., School District.

As for Collins, chairperson Jessica Cosden said she would rather have Collins as a principal for the job she did in that capacity, but was still given a unanimous vote to proceed.

Vice chairperson Robert Zivkovic said he wants someone who has plans of staying for a while, and doesn’t want to use the position as a stepping stone for a bigger job elsewhere.

“We want someone with lots of experience, but I want this to be a destination, not a stepping stone. I want the superintendent to groom a successor down the road,” Zivkovic said.

After the Skype interviews, the finalists will travel here for face-to-face interviews at a date to be determined.

In other business, the governing board voted unanimously to spend $69,000 on a new air conditioner at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School.

The problem is that it won’t be installed for another 8 to 10 weeks, which will be into the new school year, a issue that caused great concern with many on the board.

Because the request was for more than $50,000, the purchase has to be approved by the charter school Authority. That doesn’t mean Collins can’t spend money to find a short-term solution.

She said there were many options. They can dehumidify, rent portable air conditioners or use other ways to get by until the new unit is installed.