01STOCK_MILTONSCHOOLS02

MILTON

The Milton School District should hire an interim superintendent to serve for one year after Superintendent Tim Schigur resigns, the school board’s human resources committee has recommended.

The committee met Thursday to listen to representatives from the Wisconsin Association of District Administrators and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards present options to help the district move forward after Schigur resigns June 30.

Committee members Diamond McKenna, Mike Pierce and Tom Westrick agreed that choosing an experienced interim superintendent to lead the district as it transitions was the best option.

The school board will make the final decision when it meets Tuesday.

The committee has been considering its options since Schigur and Director of Administrative Operations Jerry Schuetz announced their resignations May 1.

Schigur and Schuetz signed agreements allowing them to terminate their contracts one year early. The men will receive more than $447,000 in exchange for dropping potential legal claims against the school district.

Recently, board President Joe Martin hinted that district officials might publicly answer questions after the resignation agreements are released. However, the district now has decided to accept written questions from the media instead.

The Gazette submitted questions May 14 and has not yet received a reply about when those questions will be answered.

The committee has considered several options, including hiring an interim superintendent, fast-tracking the hiring of a permanent superintendent, and posting the job opening to gauge interest and then picking an interim superintendent if the response isn’t strong enough.

Martin said he hesitated to discard the option to hire a permanent superintendent because two strong candidates have reached out to him. He said those inquiries made him optimistic the district could attract good candidates.

McKenna suggested that those who contacted Martin could be considered for the interim post.

Susan Probst, director of student services, said she wants to see the district hire an interim superintendent for one year so the board can take its time searching for a permanent replacement.

Human resources specialist Chris Watson said she thinks staff will feel better having an interim leader for a year.

The state Association of School District Administrators offers a list of potential interim candidates on its website. Many are retired but have years of experience and are still willing to work, said the association’s Jon Bales.

Bales said Thursday he can help the district narrow the list to a handful who fit the district’s needs. Those services are free because Schigur is a member of the association.

The only cost would come if the board asks the association to post an interim position, Bales said.

Guy Leavitt of the state Association of School Boards said about five other school districts in the state are looking for superintendents.

Westrick said that convinces him that the candidate pool is too shallow to open a search now.

The school board association offers consulting resources to districts for superintendent searches.

Search services would cost the district about $9,000 to $10,000, Leavitt said, but the district can cap what it spends.

McKenna recommended board members come to Tuesday’s meeting with the qualities they want in a new superintendent so the board can proceed with writing a job description.

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