Stepstone persists with superintendent search
November 3, 2005
They’ve been rejected once, but they’re pushing ahead anyway. Members of the Stepstone Center will hold two public meetings next week to gather input from members of the community about what qualities they’d like to see in the next Roaring Fork School District Re-1 superintendent.Current Superintendent Fred Wall is set to retire at the end of the school year. Stepstone will hold the meetings even though the Re-1 school board rejected its ideas last month. “We really want to try to get a feel for what the community is looking for in terms of the qualities of the new superintendent,” Stepstone Executive Director Scott Chaplin said. “We’re trying to get as wide a cross-section of the community as possible.”Stepstone will hold one meeting in English and another in Spanish because Chaplin said he thought Latinos were under-represented in focus groups Re-1 held in October to gather community and district employee opinions about a new superintendent. Re-1 formed about 15 focus groups, which involved nearly 200 participants from all over the Roaring Fork Valley.The Carbondale-based Stepstone Center has adopted the superintendent search as its sole mission. It is unclear, however, how much influence the group has on the school board’s selection process. So far, Stepstone is the only community group that has asked the school board for a separate seat at the table in the superintendent selection process. In October, the group sent school board members a letter asking that a superintendent selection committee include two members of a Stepstone-appointed multicultural committee that would give Latinos a greater voice in the selection process. The school board rejected that idea. But Chaplin and Stepstone board President Mariana Velazquez-Schmahl pledged to form their multicultural committee anyway to give community members a chance to participate in the superintendent search beyond Re-1’s focus groups.Velazquez-Schmahl said Thursday the group will write a report about the community meetings and submit it to the school board at its next meeting. “What they do with it, who’s to say?” she said. “I think they’ll accept it and that will be their comment. It’s hard to say how they will respond.”Stepstone’s first committee meeting will be in Spanish at 7 p.m. Sunday in the basement of St. Mary of the Crown Church in Carbondale. The meeting is open to the public. An English-language meeting will follow at 7 p.m. Monday in the basement of the Carbondale Community United Methodist Church in Carbondale. Child care will be provided at both meetings.