VCSC board hears concerns regarding superintendent search

Board President Jackie Lower confirmed that the board has made a selection on a candidate for the job.

Posted: May 21, 2018 10:57 PM
Updated: May 21, 2018 11:22 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Monday night's Vigo County School Board meeting ended on a note of concern.

The last call for public comment began with letters addressed to school board members from the Vigo County Teachers Association.

That's when the conversation began on the concerns following the search for a new superintendent.

Board President Jackie Lower confirmed that the board has made a selection on a candidate for the job, but the name of the individual has not officially been announced.

The school board has been working since February to find a replacement for Superintendent Dr. Danny Tanoos.

LINK | AN EMOTIONAL DANNY TANOOS ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT AS SUPERINTENDENT OF VCSC

The board voted unanimously to work with the University Placement Team and use their process for the candidate selection. The timeline suggested Tanoos' replacement be secured by the end of May.

"One of the very strict directions from them was that no one else is involved in the search and vetting for the superintendency, other than the board," said Lower.

Lower told News 10 within the last couple of weeks, there have been questions as to why that process was followed.

The conversation of the superintendent search process took center stage among board members on Monday.

LINK | VCSC: WE SHOULD HAVE A NEW SUPERINTENDENT BY THE END OF THE MONTH

"I do feel like that we shortchanged the process, and some point maybe rushed a little bit," said Board Member Paul Lockhart.

"I would be amiss if I did not say that I think in all of the things that I've done, when I became the CEO of Hamilton Center, there was a process that I think we should take a harder look at," said Board Member Mel Burks, "and that process is allowing those individuals from three categories that I think is very relevant and important to the decision that we make that may last for over 10, 15, 20 years who knows."

"It's a very important decision for our community," he added, "and with that being said, I think the Teachers Association, I think should be able to vet the candidate. That's one area. Two, I think the administrators of our corporation should vet the candidate. Three, I think there should be small groups of community people to vet the candidate."

"The placement team has been doing their job for 25 years, and this board unanimously agreed to retain them and follow their guidelines," said Board Member Alpa Patel.

When asked about some saying the process was rushed, Lower doesn't believe that's the case.

"Dr. Tanoos stated that he was going to retire July 1," she said, "So it's getting to be the end of May, and nothing has been totally announced as of yet. So I don't think we could have held it off any longer than that. We started in February and it is a long process. I don't think it was rushed."

Lower said she's fine with the disagreements, and as a board, they'll navigate through it together.

As far as the community, she hopes the public will find confidence in the board and the process used.

"I hope that they'll continue to trust us," Lower said, "I think the community will be very pleased with the candidate that we have in mind, and very shortly that person will be known."

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