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Public input needed in VCSC superintendent search

The Vigo County School Corporation Board of Trustees has a lot of homework to get done over the next several months.

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 9:40 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 10:45 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County School Corporation Board of Trustees has a lot of homework to get done over the next several months.

The board is tasked with finding a new superintendent by the time current superintendent Dr. Danny Tanoos retires.

Board members say it's an important process and they need help from the public.

A crowd of teachers, parents and interested people gathered for the first open work session Thursday afternoon.

Tim Ramseier says his children went to school in the district. He works with youth around the Wabash Valley and says he wants to be involved in the process however he is needed.

"Just a real vested interest in making sure the school moves in a good direction."

Doctor Terry McDaniel of Indiana State University is a member of the University Placement Team. The school board hired the team to help find a new superintendent.

McDaniel presented a plan of action for the search and the public could listen.

Ramseier says, "I'm really impressed with what Mr. McDaniel is bringing to the board and the questions, the processes, suggestions, all of that stuff. I think it's really enlightening."

McDaniel says it is up to the school board to hire the next superintendent. He advises against establishing a special search committee.

Ramseier says, "This is the one job that they're hired to do is to hire the right superintendent."

All of the applications will first go to McDaniel. He and the team will assess the applications and give the board recommendations on who to interview. The board does not have to abide by those recommendations and will be able to see all the applications.

The University Placement Team does not recommend who the board should hire.

Board President Jackie Lower says, "It is overwhelming because it's a lot of homework. I mean, there's a lot of work to be done."

The works starts with a list. Board members have to establish attributes they would like to see in the new hire.

The board will also need to create a survey. It will be posted on the school district website. The public can then answer questions about qualities they would like to see in the new superintendent and comment on areas of strength and weakness in the district.

Ramseier says, "I'd like to see him or her represent the community as a whole very well and also be in touch with the people of the community so they can move forward in that area."

Board members agree the next person will need experience dealing with referendums and collective bargaining.

The group is tasked with creating an application. McDaniel hopes to have it posted by February 27th. He suggests advertising for the job through March.

Then, there will be two rounds of interviews. The first round will be with a handful of candidates with interviews lasting ninety minutes.

Lower says, "Then it will be narrowed down to one or two people and then we'll have to come up with a package that would be attractive to the applicant as well as to us."

The goal is to have someone hired by July 1. 

The public has more opportunities to learn about the process. The next regular meeting is Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at the VCSC Administrative Building.

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