GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Grand Island school board has offered a three-year contract to Tawana Grover to be the next superintendent of the Grand Island Public Schools.

Grover will be succeeding Rob Winter, who has been GIPS superintendent for the past five years and is retiring after a 38-year career in education. In announcing the board’s decision to hire Grover, board president Bonnie Hinkle expressed regret at seeing Winter retire from the district.

The board made its decision after spending about two hours in a closed-door session to review the candidacies of Grover, chief of human resources for the DeSoto Independent School District in DeSoto, Texas, and Vernon Fisher, superintendent of South Sioux City Public Schools.

Ted DeTurk, administrator for Educational Service Unit 2 in Fremont, withdrew his name earlier.

Hinkle said that another special board meeting had been tentatively scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Tuesday for the board to take an official vote on making a contract offer.

Hinkle said Grover hit the personal qualifications of being trustworthy, honest, understanding the culture of poverty, having the ability to think critically and be creative, and the ability to be collaborative.

“She talked a lot about knowing every student, because every student has their own story, and I think that resonated with a lot of us,” Hinkle said. “We are in a great place today. Dr. Winter has brought us to a great place. We need to move forward and choose a person who can take us to the next level.”

The contract still must be negotiated, Hinkle said. The Grand Island school board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is March 10, when it expects to approve the final contract between the district and Grover.

The DeSoto school district Web page says that the district has 9,900 students. The school system’s Facebook page describes itself as a suburban district 15 miles south of Dallas.

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