MCSD Whiteboard: What’s happening in your schools?

Search for top-notch new district leader dominates pivotal summer break

Moffat County School District

Summer break is here, but it’s anything but time off for your Moffat County schools.

In this, the first of what we plan will be weekly updates from Moffat County School District, we’d like to update you on the process of hiring our next school superintendent. It’s a critical moment in MCSD history, as we look to attract, identify and secure the next leader of our schools.

We can’t overstate how seriously we’re taking this opportunity to set the tone and direction for the district. Our students — your children — deserve the absolute best opportunity to thrive in their educational journeys. Similarly, the district’s employees and educators deserve to feel secure, inspired and supported as they perform the critical, hands-on administration of that education. It is the absolute top priority of the district and its board to ensure the next leader of the district puts both groups in a position to succeed.

We teach our children to ask for help when they need it, and, with full intention of practicing what we preach, we’ve sought help in this search. We’ve engaged McPherson & Jacobson, a national search firm with regional ties that for more than 30 years has specialized in matching great districts with great leaders.

The firm has been hard at work for nearly a month now, getting to know our community and our district, having held a number of forums with stakeholders including faculty, parents and community members to educate them on who we are, what we want, and what makes us great.

Norm Ridder has been one of the primary consultants from McPherson & Jacobson assigned to our search. A former school superintendent himself, Norm has identified a number of important common themes that describe the kind of leader this district needs as its next superintendent.

“A person with conservative values, a person who listens and is a communicator,” Ridder said of the themes he identified through his work with the community. “A person who builds trust. Trust was a big word. And then, also, a person who can stay long term.”

The next steps in this process are plainly laid out and can be found at They are as follows:

• June 13: Application deadline

• July 23: School board meeting with stakeholder leaders to review candidates, select finalists, review interview questions and finalize the interview schedule

• July 7-8: Candidate interviews

• July 7: Community meet and greet (stay tuned for more info on this soon)

• July 8: Board selects superintendent

• Aug. 1: Superintendent start date

It’s kind of hard to believe this can all work so fast, isn’t it? But that’s how important this is. We’re so grateful for Dr. Joel Sheridan, our interim superintendent, and his service in helping build a bridge to our next superintendent. But it’s incredibly important that our students and teachers have this position solidified before the school year starts. Too much is at stake to be any less aggressive with this process.

We know change is hard. We know that trust must be earned. We want you to know that Moffat County School District will not relent in working to earn that trust through thoughtful, compassionate and educated choices and actions that, ultimately, create opportunities for student success.

Rest assured, the district, its educators and its board are made up of members of this community who are deeply passionate about educating our children and preparing them to lead spectacular lives. Nothing will stand in the way of that pursuit. It’s never been more important than it is right now.

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