Board sets search plans

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Municipal Schools board of education made plans for the searches for replacements of the superintendent and longtime board member Lora Harlan at their meeting Tuesday.

Harlan announced last week that she would resign effective May 28 after 19 years on the board.

Board Secretary Max Best and member Harlan presented the board with two search firms the board could work with in the continued effort to find the next superintendent.

The district is planning to hear oral presentations from School Executive Consulting Inc. of Dallas and McPherson and Jacobson LLC, a regional firm based in Omaha, Neb. The board has tentatively scheduled a board meeting for the sole purpose of hearing presentations April 20.

The board said the prices for both firms are below the $50,000 mark that would require entering into the bid process.

Vice President Terry Martin said he wants the board to take as much time as it needs to choose the next superintendent.

“This is an important decision for our community. Let’s take our time, and whatever we do, let’s select the right person,” Martin said.

The board also said that while current Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm’s resignation is effective June 30, there are experienced community members who could step in to help if needed.

G.C. Ross, whom the board hired to help with the superintendent search, will continue to assist with the process, Lansford and Best said. Lansford said Ross’ input is critical.

“He knows the district and knows what the community really needs,” Best said.

Lansford said that while the district has had issues, it offers a good deal in employment.

“We have issues, and we have had issues, but every district has issues. We offer a good salary and benefit package as well as a good community to live and work in,” he said. “What we want is to be successful in finding the right fit.”

As for replacing Harlan, the board decided to solicit interested residents from District 3. The board will accept letters of interest through May 14.

Martin and member Lola Bryant will also host board candidate training May 6. Best said a board candidate should know what being a member entails.

President Mark Lansford said he called Tuesday’s special meeting so the board could set both search processes in motion.

“The public and the staff need to know where we’re headed,” he said.