Park City School District selects new superintendent
The Park City School District has selected a new leader to take the helm. The Park City Board of Education announced on Friday morning that Jill Gildea will be the new superintendent.
The Board voted unanimously to appoint Gildea to the position. She is set to step into the role on Aug. 1.
Gildea is currently the superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut. Prior to that, she served as a superintendent in the Chicago area. She has also been an assistant superintendent, educational programs director, curriculum director, high school division administrator, elementary principal and teacher at the middle and high school levels, according to a district press release. She will replace former Park City Superintendent Ember Conley, who accepted a position in Arizona.
Andrew Caplan, president of the Board, said that her 11 years of experience as superintendent was one of the things that stood out to the Board and its selection committee as they made their decision. He said that having a seasoned superintendent was something that often came up in community focus groups as a desired trait when the search began.
Caplan said that Gildea’s experience as a teacher and principal will help her relate to district staff. Plus, many of the leadership roles she had were in communities with academic expectations similar to those of Park City, he said.
“We wanted to ensure that our next leader was experienced, that they were familiar with communities that have high expectations, like ours does, and that they brought an excellent background,” he said. “She checked all of those boxes.”
The Board began its superintendent search about five months ago. It started with about 40 applicants and was narrowed to two finalists after an interview process involving the search committee, which was made up of community members and district staff. After final interviews earlier this month, Gildea was chosen.
Kevin Efrusy, a parent with children in the district and a member of the committee, said the majority of the committee was in favor of hiring Gildea.
“She has a great experience and track record of bringing positive results and transformations to the districts that she has worked in,” he said.
Gildea has been recognized for her work in communication and fiscal management and has experience implementing strategic plans and master plans, according to the district’s release.
Efrusy also said that she had a “quiet confidence about her” that would fit well in the community.
“The feeling was that she would handle complicated situations, emotional situations and controversial situations with both great calm, as well as great insight and intellect,” he said.
Gildea said in the release that she is honored to be selected for the position. She was not available for an interview.
“From my perspective in visiting other districts across the country through my work with a variety of national organizations, I believe that Park City School District keeps its students at the center of key decisions, and models whole child practice,” she said in the release. “I look forward to joining this talented and dedicated team.”
Caplan said that he is glad to finish the search process and is excited to see where Gildea is able to take the district. David Gomez, who is currently serving as interim superintendent, will help with Gildea’s transition into the role, Caplan said.
“We are thrilled to have her,” he said. “I think she is going to bring some new ideas and a fresh way of looking at things to our district.”
Gildea received her doctorate degree in curriculum and supervision from Northern Illinois University. She also has a master’s degree in language and literacy, as well as a superintendent’s endorsement.
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The Park City School District offices were inadvertently locked, but security footage was reviewed and the only two community members who showed up were let in and joined in an informal chat with Board of Education members and staff.