Second best won’t take school district to the head of the class
Patrons of the Park City School District were blue when former school superintendent Nancy DeFord retired. DeFord had encouraged the district to strive for excellence and was admired by teachers, administrators and parents.
The school board, at the time, was especially discouraged when it failed to turn up any viable prospects by the time their superintendent was scheduled to leave. Fortunately, DeFord decided to give the district a little more time to search and, with that extra time, they found Dave Adamson.
Adamson’s skills and temperament proved to be a perfect match for the Park City School system. The three years under his leadership were productive and remarkably harmonious for the Park City School District. It was, therefore, a sad day when he, too, announced his retirement.
Park City school board members quickly launched another superintendent search and last week announced that it had narrowed the field to two candidates. This week, however, the board declined to offer the job to either finalist, deciding instead to re-advertise the position.
It must have been a difficult decision but it was the right one. Even though Adamson has already left, it would have been a mistake to settle for a candidate lacking in the leadership skills this district demands.
The Park City School District, with urging from the Park City Education Foundation, has set some ambitious goals foremost of which is becoming one of the top 10 school districts in the nation. To do that they need a leader with extensive experience, a progressive outlook on issues related to education and a dynamic personality that will inspire and energize fellow administrators, staff and students.
The job description for superintendent of the Park City School District calls for much more than a competent administrator. The board should hold out for someone who is eager to help a community achieve its dream of educational excellence and who welcomes the challenge of setting new standards in public education.
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In the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, PJ Falten has been thinking about the “fallen heroes who gave their lives so that something like last Wednesday could never happen on sacred ground. … What would they have thought?”