Friday, January 31, 2014

District seeks input on leader search

Public forums scheduled throughout county next week

Express Staff Writer

     The Blaine County School District is moving forward in its search to find a new superintendent.

     The district is working to find a replacement for former Superintendent Lonnie Barber, who in late September accepted a “separation agreement” with the district to leave the post nearly three years before the end of his contract. Barber was paid $600,000 as part of the agreement, which the district’s board of trustees said was justified by significant “differences in leadership style and approach.”

     The board of trustees appointed Assistant Superintendent John Blackman to serve as the interim superintendent of the district. In an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express earlier this month, Blackman said that he is not actively pursuing the superintendent position because he does not want to complicate or politicize the process of hiring a new leader. However, Blackman said he has received support for his leadership and would serve as the superintendent if the board does not find a suitable candidate.

     Now, the board of trustees is seeking community input as it moves forward with the selection process. County residents can help by completing an online survey and/or attending an open forum to help the district identify the characteristics the community would like to see in a new superintendent.

     The forums are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Monday, Feb. 3, from 8:15-9:15 a.m. at the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum.
  • Monday, Feb. 3, from 6-7 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 1-2 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. at the Carey School. (This will be held in conjunction with a girls basketball game. Consultants will be available and the survey will be promoted during the game.)

     Anyone can attend the forums. The forums will be conducted by consultants from the firm Ray and Associates. No Blaine County School District administrators or board members will be present during the meetings. Comments made during the meetings will be compiled into primary themes and participants will not be identified individually.

     For questions, contact Heather Crocker, the district’s communications director, at 578-5005. Additional information about the search will be posted in the future on the district’s website,

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