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Superintendent candidates interviewed

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

The search for a new Park City School District superintendent has been narrowed down to two candidates.

Jo Campbell and Ryan Thomas were in town on Thursday and Friday to interview for the position.

Campbell is currently assistant superintendent for Council Bluffs Community Schools in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a position she has held for the past eight years. PCSD Human Resources Director Tim McConnell said she also has over 10 years of experience as an elementary school principal.

For the past three years Thomas has served as assistant superintendent for the Uinta School District in Evanston, Wyoming. McConnell said he taught in Davis County and was principal of a middle school in Morgan County. While in Wyoming he was principal of an elementary and high school before advancing to assistant superintendent. He also has over ten years of experience as an elementary school principal.

Campbell and Thomas were selected from a pool of 20 applicants, which was narrowed down to eight.

"We had so many out-of-state candidates that the first thing we chose to do was telephone interviews," McConnell said.

After the eight were selected, McConnell explained the two most qualified candidates were picked based on conversations, background and reference checks.

"They are the two that rose to the top," he said.

One thing that gave the two finalists and edge was their experience in teaching and building administration, McConnell said.

"They have an ability to understand more fully the things that need to be done to support schools," he said, adding that also includes their ability to work with the community, staff and principals.

On Friday, two community forums were scheduled for invited Parkites to give the school board feedback, and compare and contrast the two candidates.

The Park City School Board is meeting in a closed session on Sept. 5 to discuss personnel. McConnell said they could make a decision at that point in time but he added it was more likely the school board will want more time to make the selection.

This might include sending a board member to Council Bluffs Community Schools and Uinta County School District to see how each is run and to learn about what programs they have in place that might be similar to those in the Park City School District.

"I think both candidates have been very well received, I personally would be comfortable with either," McConnell said.

How do the districts compare?

The following statistics are from http://www.schoolmatters.com .

Number of students:

Park City School District: 4,123 (2004)

Council Bluffs Community Schools: 9,396 (2005)

Uinta County School District: 2,902 (2004)

Spending per student in 2004:

Park City School District: $6,857

Council Bluffs Community Schools: $6,927

Uinta County School District: $8,920

Economically disadvantaged:

Park City School District: 9.9 percent (2004)

Council Bluffs Community Schools: 48 percent (2005)

Uinta County School District: 43 percent (2004)


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