You’re asking, so we’re answering.
Some people have asked about the Superintendent sole finalist for Jeffco.
We know recalled Newkirk has his opinions and has his Canyon Courier platform for this – not too sure why the Canyon Courier doesn’t also implement an opposing opinion column knowing that Newkirk was recalled by 65% of the voters. Friends in that area should write them and ask about this. Terribly slanted and biased and he doesn’t even have kids in school in Jeffco. They even put a disclaimer on his “opinion column” to welcome Letters to the Editor with a special notation that letters must focus on issues and not personalities. What’s also laughable is that he attempted to use quotes from individuals in his column yet left out meaningful words from their writing to take the comments out of context as confirmed by one of the writers.
How is the announcement of Dr. Jason Glass as the sole finalist different than the sole finalist of Dan McMinimee?
Quite a few answers to this.
First – allowing public comment:
Let’s remember, VIVIDLY, that the recalled board members cut public comment over and over again and how difficult it was to sit through the Board meetings. We also couldn’t get responses to our letters to the Board. As you’ll recall, the public would announce the way the Board majority was going to vote before they even answered roll call, because we knew how they were going to vote, though none of us admit to any special psychic abilities.
The 2014 process for hiring the previous Superintendent included no job description as well as violations of the State Sunshine Law.
Let us also be clear that the previous Superintendent received a 3-2 vote while this process garnered a 5-0 vote. Unanimous support, as was the recommendation of the search firm, Ray and Associates – both in 2014 and 2017. Ray and Associates was just as surprised as the community in the previous selection according to their own representative.
Ray and Associates also noted at a community forum that THIS board, consisting of Mitchell, Lasell, Harmon, Stevens, and Rupert, was following the process and their recommendations.
The same cannot be said of the search in 2014.
How did our Board value community input and how was it different than 2014 when the recalled members hired a superintendent?
Ron Mitchell, Ali Lasell, Susan Harmon, Brad Rupert, and Amanda Stevens were committed to an open, transparent process, including community input. The search firm conducted community meetings (Board members did not attend as they wanted to ensure that their presence did not interfere with the desire of the community.) Ray and Associates held interviews and in-person meetings, reviewing nearly 3,900 community surveys and 1,000 comments. They communicated updates via website and at each Board meeting on the search progress.
This time, we know that 825 contacts were made to 46 states; resulting in 69 applications received. 11 candidates from 9 states were recommended for consideration to the Board for the superintendent position. 6 candidates interviewed from 6 different states (one from Colorado), 5 have been or currently are superintendents, and the sixth is an assistant superintendent.
What did we know last time? None of this information.
People in Dougco told us the rumor was that McMinimee was going to be our superintendent MONTHS before anything was announced.
It is true, we would have liked to see more than one finalist and we did advocate for that to our Board members. The Board also responded to us (unheard of in our previous recalled board, they often didn’t respond or if they did, it was 6 months later.) Several of the candidates noted that they would not be interested in the position if multiple finalists were announced and the Board could not guarantee their hire as it would impact their current employment situation. Therefore, to keep the integrity of the candidate pool, the decision to respect their privacy to keep the best candidates was made.
During this entire process, the Board regularly consulted their attorney to ensure that they followed the law while also selecting the best candidate to lead Jeffco Schools.
Finally, let’s not forget one other item.
We again have a highly educated Superintendent with education expertise and experience with a similar population of students. We know Jeffco values experienced leadership and education and that was very clear in the survey results.
Welcome Dr. Glass along with us. We are the luckiest district around and others are envious of the results of this search.