ROSAMOND — The Kern Coun­ty Superintendent of Schools will waive its $5,000 fee to con­duct a superintendent search for South­ern Kern Unified School District.

The cash-strapped district is in need a new superintendent after for­mer Superintendent Jeffrey Wein­stein left last June to take a job with the Oxnard Union High School District.

The district’s governing Board ap­pointed Leanne Hargus, the dis­trict’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services, to serve as interim superintendent.

Toni Smith, assistant su­per­in­tendent of Human Resources and Special Services for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, explained the county’s ser­vices in regard to the search at Wednesday’s Board meeting.

“Everything is preplanned, it will be seamless. I know many of you have not gone through this proc­ess before so I just want to as­sure you that I will make your job easy,” Smith said.

Smith explained it was better to move forward now with es­tab­lish­ing a timeline, salary range, and sel­ection criteria rather than wait in order to draw from a larger pool of candidates.

The Board agreed to conduct su­per­intendent candidate interviews on March 30. The projected salary range is between $154,000 and $170,000.

The standard minimum qual­if­ic­ations include a master’s degree in education, valid California ad­ministrative credential, min­im­um of five elementary or sec­ond­ary teaching experience, and a minimum of three years at a school site or district level ad­min­istrative experience. The ideal can­didate also will need successful experience in school finance and budget management.

Trustee Carol Robinson said she would like a su­per­intendent with exper­ience.

“We don’t need a new su­per­intendent that has no experience in financial dif­fic­ulties,” Robinson said.

Smith said they would reach out to district per­son­nel to get updated in­for­mation specific to the district and the com­mu­nity to be included in the recruitment flyer along with minimum qual­if­ic­a­tions and salary range.

“Are there any specific area or qualifications that you would like to make that I include in that brochure?” Smith said.

Board Clerk Linda Brandts said they want a candidate with unified school district experience, some­one who has served on a negotiations team, and is familiar with Junior ROTC programs.

The county edu­ca­tion office most re­cent­ly con­ducted a su­per­in­ten­dent search for Southern Kern in 2011 after former long­time Superintendent Rod­ney Van Norman’s con­tract was not renewed. The county conducted the search at no cost to the district because, as with this year, the district strug­gled financially.

The Board hired Kent Taylor, former director of aca­demic programs and high schools with Rial­to Unified School Dis­trict, in June 2011. Trus­tees marked his one-year an­niv­er­sary with a con­tract extension through June 2015. Taylor left the dis­trict in October 2012 to serve as the state-ap­point­ed administrator of the then-financially-troubled Ing­l­ewood School District. Tay­lor “resigned” after two months on the job after state officials found out he signed a financial ag­reement with the teachers union without authority.

The Board named Wein­stein, who had joined the district in May 2012 as assistant su­per­intendent of business ser­vices, to serve as the district’s acting su­perintendent following Taylor’s departure.

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