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Superintendent candidates narrowed down to two

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Beartooth NBC's Drew Steele wraps up the search for Helena's new school district superintendent.

UPDATE: 03/16/12 9:30pm

We have an update on the superintendent search tonight as the field of four finalist has been narrowed down to two.

Board Chair Michael O'Neil says they have chosen Keith Meyer and Kent Kultgen to appear for a second interview. Both Meyer and Kultgen will interview again on Tuesday, March 20 at the Front Street Learning center.

O'Neil says the board will then deliberate again on Wednesday, March 21, as they continue to come to a decision.




Meanwhile, as the search for a new superintendent nears its end, the road traveling up to this point has been a long one. The search first started in June 2011, after former superintendent Bruce Messinger accepted a job in Boulder, Colorado.

Months of planning, community forums and narrowing down the list of candidates to four finalists has led to the final stages of the search for a new superintendent. With the help of McPherson and Jacobson, a recruitment firm specializing in public entities, the board of trustees was able to involve the community while inviting candidates to apply.

O'Neil said, "I think the process is going well. I think what we wanted was an open and transparent process that invited as many candidates, well qualified candidates to participate and put their name for this position."

After compiling a list of 20 candidates, four were chosen to participate in a day long process starting with a detailed tour of the district and ending with an open interview.

Libbi Lovshin, board trustee, said "I think it's really important because not only does the tour give a good flavor of kind of how the district is laid out. It gives us an opportunity to make sure they understand kind of what some of the issues are."

When community member were asked about candidates touring the district, Lisa Cordingley stated, "I would think particularly for those candidates who might not be familiar with our community and our schools and the geographic breadth of our school district. It's a good introduction into what the Helena school system's like."

Each of the candidates had positive things to say about their day long experience.

Kent Kultgen, finalist, said "It's been a fantastic day to come and look at Helena and see the real inner workings of the school."

"It's been an exciting process. I have to certainly credit the board of trustees," stated Daniel Snowberger, finalist.

Now all that is left is for trustees to make a decision.

Luvshin said, "All the input we're getting I think will help us really gather as much information as we can about making a really good decision."

We'll have more on the final stages of the search as they continue into next week.

Story by Drew Steele, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Tagged as:

Bruce Messinger, Helena school district, Lisa Cordingley, Boulder, Daniel Snowberger, Colorado, McPherson and Jacobson, Libbi Lovshin, Kent Kultgen, Michael O'Neil

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