Wednesday, October 22, 2014

West Franklin plans superintendent candidate visits with district patrons

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 1/24/2014

POMONA — West Franklin school district patrons are expected to meet with superintendent candidates next week.

Members of the West Franklin school board — with the help of a representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards — have selected four candidates to visit the school district, meet with patrons to answer any questions and interview with the board, Matt Froggatte, school board vice president, said.

POMONA — West Franklin school district patrons are expected to meet with superintendent candidates next week.

Members of the West Franklin school board — with the help of a representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards — have selected four candidates to visit the school district, meet with patrons to answer any questions and interview with the board, Matt Froggatte, school board vice president, said.

Dotson Bradbury, West Franklin superintendent, still has two years left on his contract, but submitted his resignation in October. Bradbury plans to finish the school year and end his work with the district in June, he said previously.

The representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards did most of the legwork in sifting through applications, Froggatte said, then came back to the board with its top 10 to 15 candidates, and board members narrowed it down from there.

“We brought in a couple superintendents from two area schools to comb through the applicants, and we set parameters as far as what we wanted to see,” Froggatte said. “[The board] used those as a guide, and between the state rep for the school boards and those two superintendents, they narrowed it down for us to a number they thought was appropriate.”

Each superintendent candidate is planning a West Franklin visit next week, consisting of a tour of the campuses, meeting with staff and administrators, a patron forum and an interview with board members during an executive session, Froggatte said.

The four individual candidate-and-patron forums are set for 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the West Franklin High School commons area, 511 E. Franklin St., Pomona. A different candidate will be at the forum each night, Froggatte said, and it’s a good way for patrons to get to ask questions and get to know the potential next superintendent.

“I think it’s critical because it gives the patrons a voice,” he said. “It will give them a level of comfort because it’s a big change when you’re hiring a new top person in the school district.”

In narrowing down the selection process, board members gave the representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards some characteristics they’d like to see in the next superintendent, Froggatte said.

“The biggest guidance we gave them was we were looking for someone with experience in a superintendent position,” he said. “Someone with experience in a district similar to our size and that was the No. 1 thing we gave them as far as guidelines, and we talked about some unique characteristics about our district and hope that in that experience, they were coming from a district similar.”

After the final candidate interview Friday, Froggatte said, the process will move fairly quickly, with the board hopefully announcing a new superintendent by the end of the night Feb. 3.

“Following the meeting Friday, we will come out of executive session from the last interview, then go back into executive session to discuss candidates and then come to a decision to who we’re going to extend an offer to,” he said. “[Friday] night, Jackie [Robbins, board president] will be charged with contacting [the chosen candidate] and letting them know they were our No. 1 choice.”

Once the final candidate is decided upon by the board and notified, Froggatte said, Robbins and Curt Altic, West Franklin school board member, would visit the candidate’s home town or school district the following Monday.

“[Robbins and Altic] will go to [the chosen candidates’ school] district [or home town] to go meet them on their own ground and solidify the choice and to talk to some people in their own communities and see how they’re received there,” Froggatte said. “A contract would be offered, and we should be able to have a superintendent under contract sometime during the following week after our interviews.”

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