SCUD selects 4 finalists in super. search

BY JORDYN HULINSKY

***UPDATE: Since publishing, Wednesday, March 14, one candidate has dropped out. Jeremy Christiansen took his name out of the running after taking a different job offer.***

The South Central Unified District #5 School Board selected four finalists in the new superintendent search Tuesday evening.

The finalists include Julie A. Otero, current superintendent of Centura Public Schools. She has also worked as an assistant superintendent of Lexington Public Schools and as a teacher at El Paso Independent School District, El Paso, TX. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western State College of Colorado before earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas. She continued her education with an educational administration degree from the University of Nebraska–Kearney and her doctorate in philosophy from Capella University.

Another finalist is Kenneth E. DeFrank, current director of success academy of Grand Island Public Schools. He was formerly a dean of students at Omaha Public Schools and before that the assistant director of student services for El Reno Public Schools, El Reno, OK. He earned his bachelor’s in social studies education and his master’s in education administration both from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He continued his education with a doctorate in education leadership from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

The third candidate is Jeremy Christiansen, current principal/director of student services and elementary programs at Fairbury Public Schools. He was the past title I/federal programs consultant for the Educational Service Unite (ESU) 5 in Beatrice. Before that, he was a peer support teacher, reading specialist and teacher of grades second and fourth at Omaha Public Schools. He received his bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He earned a doctorate in educational administration and an educational specialist degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The final finalist is Ginger L. Meyer, current superintendent of Scribner-Snyder Community Schools. She is the past curriculum and assessment director of Sandhills Curriculum Consortium in Merna and past teacher and coach at Battle Creek Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and a master’s of curriculum and instruction from Wayne State College. She continued her education with an additional endorsement in assessment leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s in administration also from UNL.

All four candidates will visit Sandy Creek schools Thursday or Friday for interviews.

Otero and DeFrank will visit Thursday with a full schedule of interviews, including meeting with administrators, classified staff, teachers, parents/community members, students and the school board.

Christiansen and Meyer will visit Friday with the same interview sessions.

The board plans to make an offer to the selected candidate by Sunday and ask for a response within 24 hours to accept the job. The board will have a board meeting Wednesday, March 21 for the approval of the contract in conjunction with the regular board meeting for March.

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