School Board members work together in new superintendent search

Douglas County School Board President Susan Jansen and Trustee Linda Gilkerson agreed to work together in the search for a new superintendent during Tuesday’s meeting.

The board approved opening a nationwide and beginning finding potential candidates to be brought for interviews.

On Nov. 1 at a special board meeting the board voted to approve the voluntary termination of Superintendent Keith Lewis’ employment agreement with the Douglas County School District.  During that meeting Inclusive Education Executive Director Jeanette Dwyer was appointed as the acting superintendent.

The search for a new superintendent could take up to the end of the school year for qualified applicants to be brought forward.

“The most important thing to keep in mind, this is the top job, so we don’t want to rush the process,” said Trustee Carey Kangas. “We should have a timeline, yes, but do not rush the process, we should get the right person for the job one that is going to the best for this district.”

There was some debate during Tuesday’s meeting whether Paul White was already being considered for the role as superintendent.

At least two speakers referred to a text message exchange that appeared to take place between Board President Susan Jansen and Trustee David Burns.

The text exchange from Burns reads: “I make a motion to suspend Keith Lewis with pay, pending investigation. And hire Paul White as interim superintendent to lead Douglas County and lead the investigation on Keith Lewis. Mr. White will report only to the school board and Joey Gilbert. What do you think? Any changes?”

Paul White ran for election to the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees to represent District G in Nevada. White lost in the primary on June 9, 2020.

There was no confirmation during the meeting whether White is being considered.

The position will be posted on the Douglas County School website and Jansen and Gilkerson will be a committee of two to meet and create a hiring process. They will meet with HR Director Adam Dedmon to advise him on how to move forward. The findings will then be brought back before the board at the December meeting for discussion and possible action.

Trustees designated an elementary school classroom teacher position as subject to a critical shortage during Tuesday’s meeting and the position is open on the Douglas County School District website.

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