The Papillion-La Vista school board intends to hire a new superintendent before the end of the current school year.
The board met Monday in a regular meeting to discuss the process of conducting a national search to replace Rick Black, who announced last week that he would retire June 30 after four decades as an educator.
The district will seek bid proposals from prospective search firms by mid-January, in time for the school board’s first meeting with new member Jeremy Kinsey. Board President Barry DeJong did not seek re-election.
Mike Jones, chairman of the board’s personnel subcommittee, said a superintendent search typically takes about 22 weeks. The company selected to assist the board will provide a timeline with a target of having a new superintendent on the job by July 1, 2013.
Jones said the district would welcome internal as well as external candidates for the superintendent’s job.
“We will consider anyone who wants to apply,” he said.
DeJong thanked Black for his 5½ years as head of the district.
“Obviously we celebrate the victory of such a successful career,” DeJong said. “We’re just sorry to see you go, but we’re also happy for you.”
Black said he was confident the board would find a suitable successor.
“I think the process will work,” Black said. “If a person can close out their career in the ideal place, certainly this is it.”
The school board approved a contract extension and raise for Black last June, increasing his salary to $213,104.
District spokeswoman Annette Eyman said the only retirement benefit for which Black would be eligible is the district’s voluntary separation program, which is open to only the two most senior administrators each year.
In other action Monday, the board:
» Discussed hiring Husch Blackwell to provide lobbying services for the district. The firm would receive $3,000 per month plus expenses.
Eyman said the school district has been without a lobbyist for two years, but one of the board’s goals for this year is to improve the district’s influence on legislation.
Former State Sen. Tim Gay is a senior adviser for Husch Blackwell. Gay helped lead the citizen committee that promoted the district’s successful $59.6 million bond issue this fall.
The Sarpy County Board voted Nov. 20 to approve a similar contract, also for $3,000 per month, with Husch Blackwell.
» Approved hiring two special education teachers for the spring semester to address higher-than-projected enrollment. One teacher would be assigned to each of the two high schools.