After a months-long process, the Westside school district has narrowed its search for a new superintendent down to four.

The Westside school board announced the finalists Saturday morning. The finalists are:

  • Jeffrey Geihs, associate superintendent of the Clark County Schools in Nevada.
  • Mike Lucas, superintendent of the York Public Schools in York, Nebraska.
  • Melissa Poloncic, superintendent of the Douglas County West Community Schools.
  • Rick Robins, superintendent of the Juab School District in Utah.

The four finalists will visit Westside for interviews Jan. 8 and 9. The board will select top candidates based on those meetings.

The top candidates will then be invited back for a tour of the district and a second round of interviews with students, staff, parents and community members on Jan. 17.

The board will announce the new superintendent at the board meeting on Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. The board meetings take place at the ABC Building at 909 S. 76th St.

Board members have said they want the next superintendent to be someone who understands Westside’s culture and history, has new ideas and can understand Nebraska’s school funding formula and connect with parents and staff as easily as state legislators.

Current Westside Superintendent Blane McCann will retire at the end of this school year. He has led the district since 2012.

McCann’s salary is $221,740 a year, plus benefits. His contract also includes performance bonuses of up to $15,000.

The Westside board hired Ray and Associates, a national search firm based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help select the district’s next leader. The district is paying the firm $20,300, plus advertising and travel costs for candidates.

In recent years, the firm has helped the Omaha Public Schools and the Bellevue Public Schools find new leadership.

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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