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Cape charter schools to reopen superintendent search

By Staff | Aug 8, 2017

The search for a new superintendent to serve the Cape Coral municipal charter schools will continue after the governing authority decided Tuesday not to brings its previously ranked top-three candidates in for interviews.

Cape Coral Charter School Authority instead voted 5-1 to reopen the position in hopes of finding better candidates.

The continuous posting will take place soon and continue until the beginning of next year in hopes of finding a new school superintendent for the 2018-19 school year.

Authority members expressed concern with all three candidates, Jeffrey McCartney, Monty Aldrich and interim superintendent Jacque Collins, about their experience regarding charter school systems the size of Cape Coral’s. All three, however, will be given preference should they apply for the position again, the board determined.

“We’re looking at candidates who worked with smaller systems. I want to see someone with a similar background to what we have,” Authority member Tami Traiger said.

Authority member Robert Zivkovic said reopening the search runs some risks of some of the better candidates from the first round of applications deciding not to reapply.

Authority member Sam Fisher was not in agreement. He said he didn’t want to disqualify someone because they were from a smaller system.

“If we’re not ready to move forward, let’s have another Skype interview with better questions. I don’t support the motion,” Fisher said as the lone dissenter.

The six semifinalists were interviewed via Skype two weeks ago in a process plagued by technical problems and the inability to get into specifics because of time constraints.

Until new candidates are found, Collins will remain interim superintendent and will remain in consideration for the job.

The Authority also approved the 2017-18 adopted operating budget. The $30,964,571 budget, the first using the rolling three-year format, must be approved by the Cape Coral City Council.

In the wake of a controversy last week involving Cape Coral mayoral candidate Joe Coviello, Authority chair and city council member Jessica Cosden emphasized the charter schools do not support or oppose any candidate for any office, nor does it get involved in political campaigns.

Coviello purchased coffee for a back to school breakfast last Thursday, at which a majority of staff attend.

While he did not attend the breakfast, his wife Diane passed out campaign literature to the school system’s teachers and faculty.

Fisher said the situation was handled promptly by Collins, and that the incident was blown out of proportion.

The board also approved the charter school system’s wellness and parent volunteer policies and changing the job description of the system’s math coach, all unanimously.

Collins also discussed once again “best practices” recommended by city staff for the Cape Coral Charter School system. Among the biggest concerns from the city’s departments were timekeeping and an improved e-mail system. The idea on the table would be to treat the charter schools as a city department.

No decisions were made.