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National superintendent search in the works for school district

School board votes to hire a search firm to find a permanent leader

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Following more than an hour of deliberation at a special meeting on Dec. 4, the Douglas County School Board voted 7-0 to hire a firm to conduct a national search for a permanent superintendent.

“I do see that it is an investment,” board member Wendy Vogel said at the meeting at DCSD's administrative building in Castle Rock. “And it is something that will pay off in the long run for us and specifically for our students.”

School board President David Ray and board member Kevin Leung will conduct interviews of three national search firms and select one no later than January 2018. The school board will then work with the search firm to find a permanent superintendent for the 2018-19 school year.

Prior to the school board's decision, Douglas County interim Superintendent Erin Kane made a recommendation:

“I would encourage you to engage in a search — I would encourage you to engage in in a quick search at least,” Kane said. “Whether I am the future leader of this school district or not, I will tell you that our number one issue is indeed receiving more funding for this school district and if we are unable to receive more funding in November of '18, the challenges to come are very, very significant.”

Kane does not know if she will participate in the search for a superintendent, she said before leaving the boardroom while the school board discussed the three options on the table for hiring a permanent superintendent.

Options included selecting one of three firms to do a national search, conducting a regional search in-house or hiring Kane as permanent superintendent.

Kane was hired in 2016 after former superintendent Elizabeth Fagen resigned and took a position in the Humble Independent School District in Texas. Many teachers and parents blamed Fagen, who was hired in 2010 by a school board majority of reform-minded members, for policies that led to an exodus of teachers and administrators over the past several years. During her tenure, the school board severed ties with the teachers' union.

In January 2016, the Douglas County School Board extended Kane's contract through the 2017-18 school year.

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