Moffat County Board of Education to consider two interim superintendent candidates next week
School board will also consider budget scenarios in workshop slated for Thursday
April 9, 2016
Craig — The Moffat County School District Board of Education is set to consider two candidates next week for the interim superintendent position that will become open on April 15.
Morris Ververs and Joel Sheridan are under consideration, said Board President Darrell Camilletti. He noted that Ververs was recommended by the Colorado Association of School Boards, and that Sheridan was recommended by school board member Darryl Steele.
"Both are exceptionally qualified," Camilletti said.
Ververs, who lives in Simla, Colorado, served for 10 years as superintendent of Klawock City School District in Alaska. He has also worked multiple times as an interim superintendent, and he has a doctorate in educational leadership.
"I really enjoy working with school boards and staff and the community," Ververs said in a telephone interview, noting that he was eager to learn more about the district.
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Mark DeVoti, assistant executive director with CASB, said that CASB keeps a list of retired superintendents interested in doing short-term work.
"This is a service we would provide for any CASB member district," DeVoti said in an e-mail. "It is not tied specifically to the superintendent search process, and there is no fee involved."
CASB is also facilitating the Moffat County School District's long-term superintendent search.
Sheridan, who is retired and living in Craig, served as principal of Moffat County High School from 1990 to 2000, and he worked at a number of other positions in the MCSD, as well, including assistant superintendent. He also served for about one-and-a-half years as acting superintendent of the Aspen School District.
Sheridan acknowledged the differing opinions that exist within the MCSD, and he noted the importance of crafting a clear vision and goals. He said the decision on whether or not to pursue a mill levy override, or other fund-raising mechanisms, must emerge from that vision.
"You have to look at the resources and say, 'Do we have the resources to carry these goals and this vision out?" he said in a telephone interview. "Your answer comes from that."
Steele noted Sheridan's commitment to the school district.
"I respect his integrity and his dedication to our kids here in Moffat County," Steele said of Sheridan. "I think he's a smart man and has the interest in the Moffat County School District at heart."
Camilletti said the board is working on scheduling a special meeting late in the day Thursday to decide on the interim superintendent, along with a work session — also on Thursday — to discuss the budget. The times have not yet been established.
Next week's decision on the interim superintendent comes after the Moffat County Board of Education voted 5 to 2, on March 31, to release Superintendent Brent Curtice from his remaining contract responsibilities beginning on April 15. Curtice had resigned earlier this year to accept the superintendent's position at Garfield School District No. Re. 2. His contract in Moffat County, after his resignation, was to run through June 30.
Board members Tony Peroulis and Jo Ann Baxter voted against the motion to release Curtice from the contract.
Camilletti estimated a cost to the district of $25,000 to $30,000 to pay the interim superintendent.
Camilletti said there will be an opportunity for public discussion during Thursday's special meeting. He also noted the importance of having the meeting later in the day than the one on March 31, which began at 11 a.m., so that district staff and community members could attend more readily.
"We've got to come together as a team, and for that to happen I think it's important to make the meeting more accessible to everyone," he said.
During Thursday's work session — separate from the meeting to decide on the interim superintendent — the board will be reviewing budget recommendations that have come from community and administrative groups. It will also consider recommendations from the Interest Based Strategies team, which is the negotiating body for the district, that focus on teachers' compensation and working conditions.
But Camilletti said the board's considerations would not be limited to recommendations presented by these groups.
"All potential savings that are available to address the budget will be considered," he said.
Although there is no formal public comment period scheduled during work sessions, Camilletti said, people in attendance may offer viewpoints.
"Historically, since I've been on the board, we've allowed somebody to raise their hand and say, 'I think this,'" he said. "And I think in this work session, that's what needs to happen."
Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.