Board hires facilitator for superintendent search


By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Municipal School board makes one personnel decision; hiring the superintendent.

For the first time in five years, the board has to make that decision and they’ve hired long-time Clovis educator G.C. Ross to help with the process.

Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm announced in mid January she will resign at the end of the school year.

Ross, who worked in education for nearly 41 years, 36 of those in Clovis, helped the board with the process five years ago while working as interim superintendent.

The process includes visiting with groups such as the District Advisory Council, Administrative Council and Strategic Planning Team.

Ross said he will be meeting with these and other groups to ask them what qualifications they believe the next superintendent will need. Because each group is either made up of teachers, parents, administrators or community members, Ross said each group has a different vantage point.

“Each group has a little different…slant on what they want in a superintendent,” he said.

Ross said a list of qualifications will be generated from the meetings and passed on to the board.

“We are trying to approach (hiring a superintendent) from a broad base,” Ross said. “I think we’ve opened it up for a lot of input.”

The job listing will close March 1, according to the proposed timeline approved by the board. Applicants will interview with board members and groups such as the District Advisory Council and Administrative Council.

“That way, they’ve been screened very well and we should have the best qualified applicants,” Ross said.

Ross said the extensive interview process will help prepare a candidate for being superintendent.

“Being superintendent in a district our size is a very public position. The interview process puts them before various groups and we’ll be able to see how they can think on their feet answering questions,” Ross said. “We need to know that they are going to be able to respond in a way to represent the district and community in the best way possible.”

Ross said he also plans to meet with Seidenwurm to find out what she sees as upcoming challenges for the next superintendent.

Ross said some challenges include budget cuts and construction to handle growth at Cannon Air Force Base.

Board President Lora Harlan said because Ross is experienced, it will help ensure the process is handled properly.

“This is the kind of process where the board doesn’t need to be in the room for every piece,” Harlan said.

Harlan said Ross will have continued communication with the board through out the process.

“He knows the town and the district,” Harlan said. “He’s well respected for what he knows about education and all of that gives the board more assurance in the information we’ll be receiving.”

The board has included time in their Feb. 23 meeting for the public to offer the board qualifications they think the next superintendent will need.