They're Papillion-La Vista's sweet six.
Five men and one woman from five states have made the cut in the school board's search for a new superintendent.
The finalists to replace superintendent Rick Black are:
» Roger DeGroot, superintendent, Brookings School District, Brookings, S.D. Enrollment: 2,983.
» Ted DeTurk, superintendent, West Point Public Schools, West Point, Neb. Enrollment: 826.
» Joseph Gothard, assistant superintendent for secondary education, Madison Metropolitan School District, McFarland, Wis. Enrollment: 27,095.
» Anita Micich, shared superintendent, Mason City Community School District and Clear Lake Community School District, Mason City, Iowa. Enrollment: 5,464.
» Andrew Rikli, assistant superintendent, Westside Community Schools, Omaha. Enrollment: 6,051.
» Rick Williams, assistant director for administrative services, Education Service Center-Region 10, McKinney, Texas. The center provides services to school districts and charter schools in nine north-Texas counties.
Board members selected them from among 57 applicants after examining applications, resumes and references in a five-hour closed session Wednesday.
Board vice president Mike Jones, who chaired the search committee, in a statement said board members are excited to start the interview process.
“We had a very strong pool of applicants and it was difficult to narrow the selection to only six,” he said. “We are confident we will find a great fit for the Papillion-La Vista Community.”
Board interviews will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, three candidates each day, in the board room at the district's administrative offices, 420 S. Washington St.. The public can attend, but will not be allowed to ask questions of the finalists, district spokeswoman Annette Eyman said.
Board members will use a prepared list of questions.
After the interviews, board members will consider whether to call back some of the finalists for a second round of interviews. The board aims to select a new superintendent before the end of the month.
Black, who has led the district for nearly six years, will retire June 30 after a 40-year education career.
Papillion-La Vista has about 11,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school, making it Nebraska's fourth-largest school district.
About 23 percent of its students come from low-income families.
The district has 14 elementary schools, two junior high schools, two high schools and an alternative high school.
The board contracted with the search firm Ray and Associates to identify candidates for the job, based on a profile created by the board.
The board indicated it wanted a confident, optimistic person of integrity who inspires trust. Members also emphasized their desire for someone who is a strong communicator, an experienced manager who puts students first, can set goals and can delegate authority while maintaining accountability.
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