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Superintendent search narrowed to two

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

Park City School Board President David Chaplin would not divulge the identity of the two superintendent finalists, but would say they are both from out of state.

The hopefuls will be interviewed on August 31 and September 1.

"We’re very optimistic about these two candidates," Chaplin said.

They were selected from a pool of 20, which was narrowed down after phone interviews had been conducted.

The school district may have a new superintendent by mid-September.

"If everything goes well with the interviews and their visits and the board can agree we might very well have an offer on the table at that time," Chaplin said.

He cautioned that things have a tendency to change and noted it was possible that both candidates could be determined a poor fit for the district.

Chaplin, who helped hire former Superintendent Nancy DeFord, said a similar problem arose when DeFord originally wanted to step down after which she elected to stay a little longer.

Adamson, Chaplin said stayed around longer after his retirement date to assist also to be part of the hiring committee.

"He will be invited to participate to some limited degree in the interview process," Chaplin said.

The position of superintendent is not known for its longevity.

"I understand from some national statistics I’ve hear that it’s between two and half to three years for the standard duration for a superintendent in a district," Chaplin said.

While DeFord stayed for seven years, her predecessor Donald Fielder held the job for two years, while most recently, Dave Adamson stepped down after three years.

"His need to leave came up abruptly and it was out of his control," Chaplin said.

He also credited the turnover to the stress of the position.

"It is an extremely difficult job," Chaplin said.

The two candidates will be interviewed by the school board and other representatives throughout the district.

Chaplin wanted to reassure residents that while it may seem like the process has taken a while this is due to the time of year and not any other complications.

Without their senior position, the district continues to function. Chaplin said the absence of a Superintendent only affects school operations on a very limited basis so it should not interfere with the start of school. Chaplin said administrators have needed to step up and do a little additional work.

"I’m very pleased with the ability of our district administrators," Chaplin said.

The school board too will continue on.

Chaplin said district Business Administrator Patty Murphy may serve as the district representative on the board, something Chaplin said he is very comfortable with. Another party could be called to sit in place of the superintendent for their next meeting in September.

"We might invite one of the district administrators to sit in or we might go ahead without someone sitting in the Superintendent’s seat," Chaplin said. "We can continue on with the negotiations without the Superintendent."


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