Coolidge Unified School District’s interim Superintendent Darlene White is throwing her hat in the ring for the permanent position.
White came on board in July. The district has hired the firm Search Solutions to conduct a nationwide search.
“It’s not appropriate for me to be a candidate and person in charge of the search,” White said.
Under her leadership, the district has begun long-term projects to improve the schools, she said.
“With the hyper growth that’s occurring, I believe I have the skill set, experience and the passion needed to help this district and the community,” she added.
White spent 25 years in the Roosevelt Elementary District in Phoenix, as a teacher and in various administrative roles at schools and at the district level.
Prior to joining Coolidge, White worked six years in Virginia as
superintendent of a state-operated residential program for disabled students that served 32 school districts.
White is Coolidge’s third superintendent in the past three years.
Joann Mortensen, a partner in Search Solutions, said the firm began its search process last week by visiting every school in the district as well as the district office.
Search Solutions held simultaneous community forums in two locations to get feedback from residents on what they’d like to see in a superintendent and explain the search process.
The job will be posted on state and national Web sites within the next 10 days.
Once applications are received, Search Solutions will narrow the candidate pool. A committee of district employees and community members will review and score those applications.
The school board will look at that information to determine finalists, who will be publicly announced and will go through a three-day interview process, which includes meetings with the public. Mortensen estimated this will be done in March. The board will make the final decision on the superintendent.
Amy Kuhns, a parent and the district’s director of business services, said the qualities she would like to see in a superintendent are an understanding of technology, curriculum development to better prepare students for college, and experience with grants and other funding ideas. The superintendent should also have good communication skills, she said. “I get the feeling that people are looking for some stability,” Kuhns added.