Moffat County School Board to select superintendent finalist
Interviews conducted this week with 3 job candidates
February 13, 2014
Craig — The members of the Moffat County School District Board of Education will have a lot to talk about as they move into the final phase of selecting and hiring a new superintendent.
The board will convene for an executive session Friday morning to discuss the results of this week's interviews with the top three candidates for the job — Brent Curtice, Jinger Haberer, Gregory Fromm — all of whom went through numerous meetings in the past several days.
The process consisted of tours of each of the MCSD schools within Craig, assembling with three separate advisory groups and ultimately sitting down for an official interview with the seven-member board for each contender.
Much like any interview, board members conversed with those seeking the job how they would handle the position of superintendent, with details ranging from budgetary concerns and job turnover within MCSD to addressing the level of student enrollment and pride among schools.
Each of the superintendent candidates share similar career paths, going from teachers to school principals to larger administrative jobs, albeit for very different areas. A brief resume for each can be found at http://www.moffatsd.org.
Of the three finalists, Curtice, interviewed Monday night, has the most familiarity with the district as the assistant superintendent for Moffat County since 2011. Although he described the superintendent job and his current role as being "day and night" in their duties, he is ready to take on the responsibility if hired, discussing his vision for the future during his interview.
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"I've thought about being a superintendent for years. It's a calling for me," he said. "Coming here to Moffat County was a way to learn how the operation works, gain board experience and gain senior leadership, and I did that and have enjoyed my experience in Moffat County completely. It's been very rewarding to me."
One of the first questions asked of Haberer and Fromm at their interviews Wednesday and Thursday nights, respectively, was how they would adjust to their current jobs, as well as managing a smaller district than they've grown accustomed to in the past.
Haberer currently serves as the director of student achievement for Aurora Public Schools, which includes about 7,150 students, while Fromm is the assistant superintendent of administrative services for Coachella Valley Unified School District in Thermal, Calif., which has an enrollment of 18,000.
Another topic mentioned was how the implementation of Common Core Standards could impact students. During his time before the board, Fromm said he thought the Common Core — which also has been in the works in California schools — will help children develop applicable life skills beyond standardized tests.
"It's not just about being able to answer a question A, B, C or D, it's about being able to take it to higher level and put that learning into real-life situations," he said. "Time will tell, because it's a big change."
During her interview, Haberer mentioned her interest in MCSD's use of the Understanding by Design framework and how similar the concept is to her own projects in Aurora working with school administrators.
"I think I would be able to jump right in to support principals and teachers in that planning process," she said.
The interviews also served as a time for board members to pitch life in Craig and Moffat County to the two candidates who would be relocating.
"There's a lot of people here with strong values," board member Sue Voloshin said Thursday night. "Relationships are important here because a lot of them are longstanding."
Board member KC Hume concurred, saying that running into someone involved with the district either as an educator or a board member or a parent is a daily occurrence in a close-knit community.
"I think that just speaks volumes about us moving forward as an organization," he said.
Board President JB Chapman said the board members will get a jump on the deliberation as they meet Friday.
"We want to be able to share our thoughts while they're still fresh in our minds," Chapman said.
Chapman said there is no definite timeframe for when the board will reach a decision at this point because it depends on how long it takes to review everyone's input, as well as the recommendations from the advisory groups, which consisted of district staff, administrators, community representatives and parents.
"We want to take it one step at a time," he said. "All three are unique in their own way and dynamic individuals, so now it's time to go through the process to find the best fit for our kids, our staff and everyone in the community."
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.