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Superintendent search begins

With Park City School District Superintendent Ray Timothy set to leave his post in October, the Board of Education has already begun discussions to find his replacement. Last week, Timothy agreed to take a position as the new executive director and CEO of the Utah Education Network (UEN), an organization that provides Internet services and technology training to schools in the state. The school board will have to find a new superintendent, but with school board elections on the horizon and the timing of Timothy’s departure, finding a permanent replacement could take until next summer.

"At some point in near future, we will appoint the new interim superintendent," said Moe Hickey, the Board of Education President. "We will start our search by putting together a committee and then we can begin a national search. We will probably be advertising nationally with a number of publications for educators and also on websites specific to educational hiring."

The board will not be able to hire a permanent replacement until the school board positions up for election are filled in January, a Utah law that prevents school boards from hiring either a district business administrator or superintendent within six months of an election. After June 30, any school board in Utah is required to wait before hiring.

"We are not allowed to appoint a new superintendent or a business administrator," Hickey said, "the only two people the board can hire. And that is because lawmakers didn’t want a lame duck board making decisions that will impact a new board. That way, there are no conflicts of interest or anything moving forward."

For the past six years, Timothy has served as the Park City School District Superintendent, working on projects such as dual-immersion classes in the elementary schools and better access to technology in the middle schools and high school.

"Being a superintendent can be tough job at times," Timothy said. "It is a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. You can’t always do everything for everyone but you try the best you can."

Timothy will officially take up the executive director position with the Utah Education Network on October 1 but said he will be dedicating some time to create a legislative plan-of-action for UEN before he begins working for the organization fulltime. Timothy will help the interim superintendent into his position, a role Timothy said included meetings, disciplinary actions and school visits.

"The average day is filled with meetings," he said. " Then, I’m out in the schools making observations. I am the immediate supervisor of the district’s principals and work with them on professional development. I work directly for the school board, the five board members who set the direction for the school district. But the superintendent is also responsible to make sure we carry out the day-to-day operations in each of the schools."

As Timothy prepares to leave his position, the Board of Education will begin the search for an interim superintendent to fill the role.

"Timothy was someone who was easy to brainstorm with, to share opinions," Hicket said. "He was very thoughtful and was a pleasure to work with. Timothy was a great voice for district to our community."

Because Timothy is leaving in the middle of the school year, permanently filling the position will be more difficult to do before the hiring season next spring, Hickey said. Most qualified candidates are unlikely to leave in the middle of a school year, he added.

"It will be process to find the right person," Hickey said, "but the good news is it will be a longer process and we can be very methodical.

"The tough part about having an interim superintendent will be that people will be doing more work from the board down. Hopefully, we can pick up the slack where and when we can, but we will be relying on staff members to pick up that slack for the foreseeable future."

Requirements for the position range from a background in education to leadership experience, and with an added four months before the Board of Education can even consider hiring any particular candidate, Hickey said there will be plenty of time to ferret out the perfect candidate. In the past, the board created a committee made up of board members, administrators, teachers and parents. The committee would narrow down applicants for the boar who would then hold interviews.

"Realistically, our time frame for hiring will be sometime in the spring," Hickey said.


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