Lawrence school board sets interview dates, other superintendent search details

Lawrence USD 497 school board

Lawrence school board members emerged from Wednesday night’s special meeting with a clearer timeline for the district’s upcoming superintendent search.

The public’s role in the process begins Friday with the launch of an online survey — meant to gauge the candidate qualities most important to community members — on the Lawrence Public Schools website. The survey will remain open until Oct. 13.

In the meantime, consultants Ray & Associates will host input meetings with constituents on Oct. 4 and 5. The firm will share that input with school board members on Oct. 19, when the board will be asked to finalize a candidate profile — including salary range — in order to begin publicizing the position. Applications will close in late November.

December will be spent developing interview questions, screening candidates and selecting finalists. School board President Shannon Kimball said finalists will likely be announced to the public sometime in mid-January, with interviews taking place the weeks of Jan. 14 and Jan. 21.

Unlike last year’s search, which invited specific stakeholder groups to participate in the interviews, school board members agreed Wednesday to make upcoming meet-and-greets with finalists open to the public. Community members will then have an opportunity to share input with the school board via “candidate impression forms.”

The board tentatively plans to interview each finalist on a separate day, with an additional day set aside for deliberations. The goal is to announce the new superintendent by February.

Anna Stubblefield, a former assistant superintendent in the Lawrence district, has served as interim superintendent since July 1, when former Superintendent Kyle Hayden transferred to his current position as the district’s chief operations officer.

Hayden served less than a year as superintendent following a nationwide search in spring 2016 to replace resigning Superintendent Rick Doll.