Lisbon and Springville School Districts expect to continue sharing a superintendent after their current superintendent, Pat Hocking, retires at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
The boards met in a joint session Wednesday, June 23, in Springville to discuss looking for a new superintendent.
Hocking was serving in Lisbon when the districts decided to share a superintendent, and he expanded his role into Springville. The new hire should be a joint decision, according to Lisbon school board president David Prasil.
“This position will be jointly shared by the Lisbon and Springville communities,” he said. “Unlike the last time with the sharing agreement between Springville and Lisbon where you hired our current superintendent to work between both districts, we want the Springville board to be involved in this decision-making process for the new superintendent for both districts, as this position will be working in both districts.”
Financial benefit to both districts is a big reason for sharing positions, Prasil said. Lisbon and Springville save about $300,000 through their sharing agreements, Lisbon business manager Laurie Maher noted.
The boards agreed to a rough outline for the hiring process, which will include hiring a search firm in September, taking applications in November and December and interviewing candidates in January.
The districts are targeting Feb. 15, 2022, for when they want to offer a contract to their new hire.
That time table means decisions will be made in September on finding a consulting firm to help narrow down potential applicants for the position, with the boards outlining what they are looking for in a superintendent in meetings with the consultants in late October. The cost of the consultant firm is estimated to be between $7,000 and $10,000.
Board members expect the hiring process will include candidates having separate interviews with boards, staff and community members from both districts. They discussed how to make those conversations most effective—not overwhelming candidates or getting too many opinions while still soliciting good input from a range of stakeholders.
Lisbon and Springville superintendent Pat Hocking encouraged allowing interviews to have formal and informal elements.
“I’ve learned a lot more about employees we hire when it’s come to those informal elements of an interview than I have the formal elements,” Hocking said.
Hocking also noted in his experience, the focus of a superintendent heading two school districts is being a manager of staffs in multiple buildings.
“You depend on your administrative teams at the school buildings to drive the district’s education benchmarks instead,” Hocking said.
The groups discussed what would happen if Springville chose one candidate, and Lisbon chose a different candidate.
The schools would host a second interview with those candidates, and the boards from both would determine which would be the best candidate for both school districts overall.
Lisbon will still be the district that maintains the superintendent contract, including benefits and salary, as one of the districts needs to hold the contract.
The boards set Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. as the time of their next meeting, with a meeting site to be determined. The boards will be meeting at that time to review consulting firms to help with the search for a new superintendent.