MONTROSE -- The Montrose School District will need new leadership after Superintendent George Voorhis retires at the end of the school year, and the search is already underway for his replacement.
Applications for the superintendent’s job will be closed by Friday, Feb. 4, according to Randy Zila, who is handling the application process for the Colorado Association of School Boards.
Once all the applications are in, Zila will send them to the Montrose School Board, which will eventually narrow the field down to three.
Two citizens committees are being formed to help the board in its final decision, but not enough people have applied yet, said Laurie Laird, school district administrative assistant, who is coordinating selection of committee members.
The two groups need to have eight to 12 participants, she said, “a pretty rounded group, of staff, community and parents, and to be a good representation of Montrose County.”
But so far, only 13 people have filled out applications, and more are needed. To learn more, contact Laird at 252-7902 or download an application at www.mcsd.org. The application only asks three questions and basic contact information. Applications must be returned to the school district by Feb. 16. The school board will inform applicants whether or not they were selected by Feb. 25.
Each citizens committee member will be asked to volunteer about six hours of their time, Laird said, with two hours of training on the evening of March 8, and then about four hours, starting at 7:30 a.m., when they interview the three finalists on Saturday, March 26.
The finalists will come in the day before to visit some schools and get to know the area, followed by a reception that night, Laird said.
When committee members interview the applicants the next day, they’ll know what to ask because of their training, Laird said. At the end of each interview, each committee will complete a form listing the candidate’s strengths and any concerns, which will be given to the school board for consideration.
Laird said the committee’s findings would carry considerable weight with the board.
“The community input is obviously very important to the school board, although it ultimately is their decision,” she said.
Just how many people have applied for the superintendent’s job won’t be revealed until after the Feb. 4 deadline, said Zila, and he’ll only reveal numbers, not names.
Once all the initial applications are received, Zila will send them to the school board to be winnowed down to semi-finalists and then sent back to CASB for “extensive background checks.” The list then goes back to the school board, which will decide on the final three candidates.
Voorhis, who has been with the district for 10 years, retires effective June 30. The new superintendent will start work the next day, on July 1, to get ready for the fall semester when he or she will oversee more than 6,500 students and a staff of 750 in six elementary schools, three middle schools and two charter schools.
The new superintendent’s salary will range between $135,000 and $150,000, according to the employment ad on CASB’s website. His or her listed qualifications include, “… strong business, financial sense and ability; excellent listening and communication skills; an open, approachable and collaborative leadership style; a focus on student achievement while meeting needs of all students; demonstrated record of improving academic performance; the ability to build strong relationships with diverse groups; effective problem solving skills; a leadership style that values staff and community input…”.