Board of Education’s superintendent search committee to interview candidates

As the search for a new superintendent of the Park City School District continues, the Park City Board of Education is enlisting the help of district employees and community members.

It recently announced that a 12-person committee will assist in the interview process to select and hire a superintendent. Andrew Caplan, president of the Board, said that six members are district faculty and staff and the other half are parents or grandparents of children in the district. The Board originally planned to select 10 individuals, but he said that there was a big pool of qualified candidates who applied to serve on the committee.

Following an orientation on Friday, the committee and Board are set to interview candidates for the superintendent position on Saturday, May 5. There are six finalists for the position but Caplan said that the Board is not disclosing their names. The interviews are closed to the public.

The district employees on the committee are Bob Edmiston, principal of McPolin Elementary School; Carolyn Synan, principal of Trailside Elementary School; Shannon Hase, a teacher at Park City Learning Academy and parent of secondary students; Mark Parker, an English teacher at Treasure Mountain Junior High and parent of elementary students; Abby McNulty, executive director of the Park City Education Foundation and parent of elementary students; and Lorie Pearce, executive assistant to the superintendent.

The six community members are Fritz Edelstein, Kevin Efrusy, Christine Grenney, Meg Leaf, Brenda Moss and Pablo Rojas. They have varied backgrounds from technology to education policy to finance.

Grenney, an associate broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, said that the Board did a good job selecting people with diverse experience.

She decided to apply for a spot on the committee because she hopes to see more organized communication within the district and to parents. She has two daughters who attend Parley’s Park Elementary School.

She also said that she has a good grasp on the community, which she said can be relaxed but also has high expectations.

“Moving forward, it is important to have someone at the district level who is willing to listen to that parent community, because they do want to be involved,” she said. “That requires some finesse and an ability to be open, or receptive, to ideas.”

Caplan said that the Board learned from focus group meetings and other feedback that people in the community have different views on what characteristics are important for a superintendent, which is why the Board opted to create the committee.

“We wanted to try to get as many different opinions in the room as possible,” he said.

But he also said that there is a general consensus that the superintendent should be a strong leader who “has good interpersonal skills and can build teams.”

“(Someone) to take us from good to great, that is what we are all looking for,” he said.

District employees were put on the committee because the individual that is hired will impact their work.

The six finalists for the superintendent position are all from outside of Utah, Caplan said. There are five men and one woman. Four of the candidates have been superintendents in other communities and two have not, but Caplan said that they have “relevant lateral experience.”

A discussion between the Board and the committee will follow interviews , and the Board will review the feedback and either invite some candidates back for further discussion or make a selection. Caplan said that it will make a final decision no later than the third week in May, but it could decide as soon as next week.

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