Search for new superintendent narrowed to three candidates


Photo by Jake Zajkowski

Dr. Jim Shaw of School Exec Connect presents about the search process for a new superintendent at a recent forum. The search process of filling the superintendent position will cost about $21,000.

By Jake Zajkowski, Junior-editor-in-chief

The Appleton Area School District has narrowed its search for a new superintendent to three candidates: Dr. Judith Baseman, assistant superintendent of AASD; Mr. Ben Vogel, assistant superintendent of AASD; and Dr. Van Truong, executive director of Teaching and Learning for Portland public schools.

Dr. Lee Allinger, who served as superintendent of AASD for 10 years, announced in January that he would be retiring on June 30, after 33 years as an educator in the district.

The AASD School Board has chosen the search firm School Exec Connect, or SEC, to aid in the process of filling the superintendent position, costing about $21,000. The new superintendent will begin their duties on June 1.

“The candidate pool started at about 20, with recommendations it was narrowed down to six and the Board finalized it to three, who will be interviewed by board and community members,” said Kay Eggert, vice president of the Board of Education for AASD.

“I think the process is going well. It was valuable to have the firm, as it brought in a nationwide search,” Eggert said.

The district sent out surveys to give the community a way to express what they think. The survey closed on March 15 and yielded a wide variety of results, with nearly 600 responses. Some of the categories touched on in the survey are educational strengths and weaknesses, organizational critiques, priorities, and even what they want the new superintendent to be.

The district also arranged a forum on March 14 at Einstein Middle School. The forum, led by SEC’s Dr. Jim Shaw, started the discussion on the new superintendent. Staff and local parents were present, explaining what they want the next superintendent to be.

“We see this as a community position and not just a school position,” Shaw said.

Through the work of the search process, the Board developed a profile of traits and goals. This profile was the basis for finding the right fit with all the candidates for the superintendent position. SEC presented this profile to the school board on March 20, which was then finalized, accepted and released to the public on March 22.