Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) may have a new superintendent selected by this time in 2014, according to a draft superintendent search timeline that the School Board is expected to review on Thursday.
Finding a new top administrator has proven difficult in the past for District 861 officials. After former superintendent Paul Durand's contract was not renewed, former principal and academic affairs director Scott Hannon took the job on an interim basis in July 2010. District officials dragged their collective feet on the permanent replacement process and decided in January 2011 it was too late in the year to recruit. The board then extended Hannon's interim contract for 18 months.
The search began again in late 2011, with interviews conducted in February, 2012. Hannon had told the board that he would be willing to continue as superintendent, but was unwilling to apply for the position in a process in which he would have to compete for the job. Just as the board was to narrow the candidates to finalists for a thorough vetting, board members Steve Schild, Greg Fellman, Ben Baratto and Gary Shurson expressed preference for Hannon for the job. After hearing the majority of the board preferred Hannon, each finalist withdrew from consideration. With a failed recruitment effort, the board offered Hannon the position with a 4-3 vote.
The original price for that superintendent recruitment process was $11,000, but the fee was reduced when it did not deliver a new chief administrator.
District officials are expected to begin a new superintendent search this summer, with a consulting firm expected to be chosen in July or August. A community survey is anticipated in September, when the public will have the opportunity to tell the school board which characteristics it would like to see in a new superintendent. The position is expected to be open for applications in late 2013, with the finalist selected in March 2014. Assuming a successful process, the new superintendent would report to work in July 2014.