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Aurelia and Alta school districts schedule Superintendent interviews

Friday, January 7, 2011

AURELIA - The joint School Boards of the Aurelia and Alta School Districts met at the Aurelia High School on Wednesday evening to meet with Les Douma and Dr. Rick Melmer of D & M Consulting Services and finalize plans for interviews of candidates for the proposed shared Superintendent position.

One candidate each day will be interviewed by separate focus groups of students, teachers, support staff and parents in each community, and administrators in both communities will also meet with each candidate and give them a brief tour of the town. When all interviews are complete, the candidate will meet with the joint School Board, which will have access to the evaluations from the focus groups.

The Board discussed an interview schedule, advisable and inadvisable interview questions, and focus group responses, and then, in accordance with Section 21.5(1)(i) of the Open Meetings Law, went into Closed Session "To evaluate the professional competencies of individuals whose hiring is being considered, as requested by the individuals."

The agenda for the closed meeting included reviewing the list of candidates, discussing those candidates, and then selecting four candidates to be interviewed. One alternate candidate was also selected, in case one of the four selected candidates was no longer interested in the position.

When the closed session ended, the meeting was again open to the public. The Boards then approved D & M Consulting Services to schedule interviews during the week of January 10-14 with the selected candidates, and D & M scheduled interviews with Jan Brandhorst, Lynn Evans, Tom Ryherd and Bill Thompson after the meeting.

Brandhorst is currently serving as the Superintendent at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, and previously served as the Galva-Holstein High School Principal; Evans is serving as Superintendent at Hartley-Melvin - Sanborn, and previously served as a shared Superintendent between the HMS and Aurelia Districts in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years; Ryherd is the High School Principal at Alta; and Thompson has served since 2006 as the Superintendent in the Kimball, So. Dak. District, and was previously the Middle School and High School Principal in Emmetsburg.

Because of the Jan. 10-14 interview schedule, the regular monthly Aurelia School Board meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, January 10, has been re-scheduled for January 17.

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