Monday p.m. update: The Ladue School district announced that Tuesday's board meeting would be held at the Ladue Middle School cafeteria to handle what is expected to be a large turnout, instead of the district administration building.
In light of Jon Lamberson, superintendent of the Riverside, IL School District dropping out of the final three for Ladue’s new superintendent of schools, the field has been narrowed to just two finalists.
They are Fred Czerwonka, superintendent of the West Plains, Missouri School District and Donna Jahnke, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Ladue School District.
Dr. Lamberson dropped out of contention over the weekend, citing scheduling conflicts to finalize his interview with students and stakeholders. He emailed a message to the board of his intentions to drop out of the final three candidates.
The board had intended to complete interviews over the weekend, and announce its new selection Monday at the regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Snow delays disrupted the entire schedule.
That process has now been pushed back 24 hours to Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the rescheduled board meeting.
Some voices in the community object to the entire process, and some have asked that the interview process be reopened. The field was narrowed from an original field of 12 applicants a month ago.
Here’s a sampling of comments on the Ladue-Frontenac Patch over the weekend and today:
An Area Resident
I am watching with much curiosity to see whether or not the board will invite another top candidate for interviews. If they don't, the pre-selection of Dr. Jahnke and the fact that this whole process has been a sham will be that much more obvious.
Depending on the number of applications and nominations received, perhaps the board would consider re-advertising the position so as to create a larger pool from which to pick the new Superintendent.
It is pretty obvious this process needs to be restarted with more transparency.
What will the Ladue School Board do?
- Have the search firm supply another candidate(s) or continue to search for another candidate(s) on their own? If a search firm was used, they should ask for all the money spent to be returned. Then find another firm.
- Appoint a new search committee of the board?
- Do nothing? The credibility of the Board and the future of the school district are at stake.
When I was at the meeting not long ago, the board was to be presented with 12 applications in which to pick 3 finalists. The board has other choices to pick from. This Tuesday the new superintendent will be (just a guess but don't hold me to it) Dr. Donna Jahnke. Congrats to you.
Transparency is a noble goal and, in certain circumstances, such as finances, is necessary. However, with respect to personnel issues, particularly recruiting, one must remember that there are competing interests. First, personnel decisions are usually confidential. Second, personnel decisions are, in most states, exempt from the "Sunshine Law" or state "Freedom Of Information Act" law.
Most recruiters, including the one used by the Ladue School District, state that they follow the requirements of state Freedom Of Information Act laws. Fourth, most employed individuals applying for jobs would not want their current employer to learn that they are applying for a new job for fear of losing their current position.
The disclosure by the Ladue School Board of the names of all who had applied, or all who had been nominated, would discourage future applications for positions within the Ladue School District and potentially would discourage applicants from working with the recruiting firm.
As of 9 am. today (Monday) Patch had received 17 comments on the subject. We need your comments, and your vote if the final decision should be made tomorrow, or delayed. Tell us in the comments below, and vote in the poll.
Local Editor Gregg Palermo contributed information for this report.