The Final Four

SD #10 super search selects quartet for interviews

In its ongoing search to find its next superintendent, the Dillon Elementary School District #10 Board of Trustees last week settled on four finalists.

Lynne Peterson, Thad Kaiser, Randy Shipman and Annette Hart emerged as those finalists after the SD #10 Board met in closed session at the end of a special board meeting on Jan. 30 to review applications it had received for the position since posting it late last year, according to an email sent out the next day by current SD #10 Superintendent Dr. Glen Johnson.

Those finalists will be interviewed next week by the SD #10 Board on Monday, Feb. 12, and Tuesday, Feb. 13.

On Monday, Feb. 12, Kaiser and Peterson will be the co-guests of honor at a 5:15 p.m. public meet and greet in the SD #10 library. Peterson will then be formally interviewed by the SD #10 Board at 6 p.m. in the district conference room, with Kaiser’s interview to follow at 7:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Shipman and Hart will have a 5:15 p.m. public meet and greet in the library. Hart will then be formally interviewed by the SD #10 Board at 6 p.m., followed by Shipman at 7:15 p.m. in the district conference room.

Members of the public are invited to attend the interviews to listen, with parameters of any further participation in the interviews to be set by the SD #10 Board.

After receiving public comment following the final interview on Tuesday, the SD #10 Board will convene in closed session, during which it will select its top candidate. That person will then be extended an offer to serve as SD #10’s next superintendent to oversee the administration of Parkview Elementary and Dillon Middle School.

According to brief biographies on the finalists released by Dr. Johnson last week: "Annette Hart has been the Superintendent of the Judith Gap School District in Judith Gap, Montana, since 2012. Prior to joining the Judith Gap School District, Hart served as a special education teacher for the Roberts Public Schools in Roberts, Montana. Hart has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern Montana College, a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Montana State University – Billings, and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Rocky Mountain College.”

The bio released for Thad Kaiser states that “Kaiser is currently the Superintendent of the Noxon School District in Noxon, Montana. Prior to joining the Noxon School District in 2016, Kaiser served as the Superintendent of the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Public Schools in Chester, Montana. Kaiser has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Broadfield Social Science from Montana State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Montana State University.”

Well-known to many locals due to his long, ongoing tenure as principal of Dillon Middle School, Randy Shipman worked as a social studies teacher in Whitefish before coming to Dillon in 2004. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice administration from Sonoma State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana.

According to her bio, “Lynne Peterson is currently the Superintendent of the Savage Public Schools in Savage, Montana. Prior to joining the Savage Public Schools in 2015, Peterson served as an elementary school teacher at the Rowland Hall School in Salt Lake City, Utah, for 15 years and as an elementary/middle school teacher in Red Lodge, Montana, for 13 years. Peterson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Montana State University.”

Each of the four is hoping to succeed Dr. Johnson, who announced at an SD #10 Board meeting in November that he would be retiring/resigning at the end of June after a decade as the district’s superintendent.

Following Johnson’s announcement, the SD #10 Board decided to hire an outside specialist, Elizabeth A. (Bea) Kaleva, to assist in the process of finding the district’s next superintendent.

A graduate of the University of Montana Law School in 1995, Kaleva served for years as staff attorney and then general counsel for the Montana School Boards Association. In 2004 in Missoula she opened Kaleva Law Offices, which specializes in providing legal advice to Montana school districts.

To accommodate next week’s interviews, the SD #10 Board of Trustees has moved up the starting time of its monthly board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13, by two hours, to 5 p.m.

At the meeting, the SD #10 Board is scheduled to receive an update on the district’s membership in the Great Divide co-op, as well as consider approval of a school psych job description and a resolution calling for the annual May school election.

The SD #10 Board will then hold the final two interviews of finalists for the superintendent position, and re-convene in an executive session closed to the public to decide which candidate to offer the job as SD #10's next superintendent.

Re-visit the Dillon Tribune website next Tuesday night to find out who the SD #10 Board selected to be the district's next superintendent.