Summit Schools move ahead on superintendent search |

Summit Schools move ahead on superintendent search

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With the first meeting between Summit School District board members and search firm personnel completed, the search for a new Summit School District superintendent is under way.

Millie Hamner retires at the end of the school year after 10 years with the district, seven of which she’s served as the superintendent. Board members hired Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates in early November to identify a potential replacement at the cost of $17,500, not including associated firm expenses and the expenses of flying candidates in for interviews

Board members met Monday to iron out details of the process, such as a calendar of deadlines for posting the opening, gathering community input for a leadership profile, first- and second-round interviews, site visits and more.

The leadership profile is a taxing part of the process, but is also the part that most interested board members as they evaluated search firms. Through a series of meetings with a long list of district administration, staff, community members, parents and students, search representatives will gather input on what the district seeks in its new leadership. They’ll cover topics such as the district’s strengths, weaknesses, desired qualities of a new superintendent, perks of the job, and suggested improvements within the district.

Board members suggested including town mayors and managers, business leaders, local philanthropies and county commissioners to the list. They also emphasized that they want the firm to reach out to minority groups. Board member Margaret Carlson said the English language learner population is about 25 percent of the student population, but often parents and other stakeholders are overlooked during feedback processes.

Individuals will be able to provide input by going to meetings, by accessing a feedback form on the district’s website or by obtaining a copy of the form at the district’s central office. Meetings are set to start next week, with the goal of being finished prior to the Christmas holiday. Interested parties can stay up to date by checking the district’s calendar or by calling the central office at (970) 668-3011.

Ideally, the profile will not only help create a job description, it will also help potential candidates in the application process and help guide whoever is selected for the job, search firm representative Rick O’Connell said. He and colleague Ellen Bartlett hope to have the profile compiled by either the January 11 or the January 25 board meeting.

The search process has begun aggressively, with the job opening already posted on the Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates website, which is linked to the district’s website to help candidates learn more about the community. Bartlett said other listings should appear soon on Education Week and other industry websites.

After Bartlett and O’Connell – along with their associates in other states – screen the initial batch of candidates down to about seven or eight, board members are slated to do their first round of interviews on Feb. 14 and 17. Two internal candidates are guaranteed an interview, board president Jon Kreamelmeyer said.

They’ll then narrow the candidates further, to about three semi-finalists and hold a second round of interviews on Feb. 28, March 1 and 2. The second interviews are more in-depth and less structured, O’Connell said.

Dates have not been selected for choosing finalists, doing site visits and offering a contract. Candidates become public when finalists are announced, the search representatives said.

Kreamelmeyer said he has already received several inquiries about the job, as well as an e-mail from a former board member.

“He said, ‘You will find everyone will be totally qualified, but you have to find the person who fits,” Kreamelmeyer said.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at

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