Urbana school board to decide on three superintendent finalists next week

Urbana school board to decide on three superintendent finalists next week

URBANA — Urbana school board members are set to narrow a list of five to seven superintendent candidates to three finalists in a closed meeting next week.

Minnesota-based search firm School Exec Connect has been reviewing applicants since a job description was developed and publicized in mid-March. The district finalized its partnership with the search firm in early February.

The three finalists' names will be made public after the board makes a decision after interviews following April 26 and 27. 

"At that time, two interview committees — one staff (and) administration, one community (and) parent committee — will assist the board in interviewing the three finalists," board member Peggy Patten said. "Those final interviews will take place on May 1, 2 and 3. ... It's a big week, next week."

Should the board choose to hire one of the three finalists, that person would begin working with interim Superintendent Preston Williams to fill the district's other two top leadership openings: assistant superintendents of student learning and human resources.

Williams has been interim superintendent since early December, when the board placed then-Superintendent Don Owen and two assistant superintendents, Samuel Byndom and Kathy Barbour, on paid leave. All three were tenured and reassigned to possible teaching positions for 2019-20 school year.

School Exec Connect will be paid $28,000 for identifying candidates for the board to interview.

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