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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