Janet Huffman

Herald Correspondent

DEWITT — Superintendent Carol Hansen submitted her resignation effective June 30 to the Central Community School Board at a special meeting Monday.

Hansen has been superintendent since July of 2004. She is retiring after 35 years in K-12 education to become the executive director of Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. The non-profit organization serves 48,000 girls and has 20,000 volunteers in three metropolitan areas — Kansas City, Topeka and St. Joseph.

Hansen has indicated one of the reasons she is leaving is a desire to be closer to her two daughters and two grandchildren who live in the Kansas City area.

Hansen succeeded Dan Roe as superintendent and has overseen several expansion projects at the high school. The difficult question of facilities needs has been a prime concern during her administration.

In other business during the special meeting, the district employed Steve Thiltgen, currently sports editor of the DeWitt Observer, as the new transportation director. Also employed were Rachel McGarry as a high school language arts teacher BA Step 7 and Ryan (Liz) Dague as a high school language arts teacher BA Step 1.

The resignation of sixth-grade math teacher and middle school student council advisor Paula Schares was accepted.

The board convened a second special meeting Wednesday to discuss search companies for a new superintendent.

Four companies indicated interest: School Executive Connect of Illinois, Gaylord Tryon and Associates of Johnston, Ray and Associates, Inc., of Cedar Rapids, and McPherson and Jacobson, LLC through the Iowa Association of School Boards in Des Moines.

After discussing fees, the list to interview was narrowed to Ray and Associates at a cost of about $6,000 and McPherson and Jacobson at a cost from $5,500 to $7,500, with the board scheduling interviews by the end of this week.

Board member Jim Irwin asked if a local person were hired, would the fee be reduced, but local candidates were directed to contact the consulting firm hired. Board member Dona Bark noted that the consultants provide a list of criteria and a large number of candidates from which the board chooses.

Business Director Jan Culbertson told the board Ray and McPherson have the largest pool of candidates.

Also discussed was the possibility of an interim superintendent because of the short time available to choose a new superintendent and the desirable qualifications of the candidates.

Looking at the Saber Team for Arts and Recreation’s plans for a new gym and auditorium and the elementary needs, Board Member Bill Turnis asked if experience in bond issues and in district growth would be traits to look at.

Not wanting to eliminate a candidate who has never served as a superintendent, board member Dennis Campbell suggested that be considered but not listed.

The board agreed to utilize the list used in hiring Hansen.