Gibraltar School District Announces Superintendent Finalists
A search firm this week encouraged the Gibraltar Area School District to announce the names of two finalists for the superintendent position as the firm was wrapping up its methodical approach in identifying candidates. The public also has a role to play in the selection.
The finalists are Lynn Bub, principal of Sheboygan Falls Elementary School; and Dr. Brett Stousland, superintendent of the Germantown School District.
Continuing the process, the board had special meetings in closed session April 11, 12, 13 and 20. Following the schedule set by the Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates search firm, the board – with school and community members participating – will hold final interviews April 29 and 30.
Before selecting potential finalists, the search firm surveyed a total of 224 people associated with the district, including the current administrator, seven board members, former board members, teachers, district employees, students and community members. The firm did the survey to identify the expectations for the new leader. The current superintendent, Tina Van Meer, is retiring at the end of the school year.
The search firm concluded that Gibraltar needs a superintendent with multiple strengths: one who is a strong communicator; is visible in the community; has strength in management, school finances and curriculum; is strong in collaborating with both the staff and the community; and is a consensus builder. The search firm indicated that the administrator will be expected to help close achievement gaps that developed during the pandemic years. In addition, the survey revealed staff and community expectations for Gibraltar leaders to “foster a climate of mutual respect among faculty, staff and administrators.”
Search leader Pat Neudecker said there’s a need to clarify the role of the school board in policymaking and create a more defined balance of the duties of the school board and the superintendent.
“You have to nurture and feed a school board, to be honest,” Neudecker said.
The survey also identified concerns about a high rate of turnover among the administrative team and teaching staff.
Neudecker said that 85% of those surveyed thought the school has excellent technology available; 80% thought the school is a safe place; 79% thought it is well maintained; and 64% gave the quality of education either four or five points on a five-point scale.
District Awaiting 2022-23 Calendar
The Gibraltar school board has reviewed three different calendars during the past month, but it has not yet approved one. Less than a month ago, board president Stephen Seyfer discussed a need for teachers to have consecutive days of professional development and dedicated days for reviewing and reflecting on techniques and plans that have worked well and those that need improvement. That schedule promoted by Seyfer – which would keep students in school until mid-June and teachers in school until late June – did not receive support.
Two more calendars did not come up for a vote earlier this month. One had several consecutive days for professional development over a couple of weeks during the school year, and one called for professional-development time every Wednesday afternoon.
More than one board member expressed concern about parents having difficulty finding child care on early-dismissal days or consecutive in-service days, and they asked Van Meer to draw a more traditional calendar for the board to consider later this month. Other board members suggested that the next superintendent should play a role in the calendar decision.