School board on Central

The Helena School Board meets in this file photo.

Eliza Wiley, Independent Record

Some faces are familiar. Some not.

A total of 11 applicants are in the running to become the Helena Public Schools interim superintendent.

The Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees holds a public meeting at noon Wednesday, May 11, at the May Butler Building, 55 S. Rodney, to review the applications.

“I’m delighted we have 11 applicants,” said board chairman Aidan Myhre. “It shows an interest in the Helena community and Helena School District and the willingness to provide the leadership to work through the issues the community has prioritized.”

Board members are reviewing the applicants’ materials, she said, and have not yet made a decision about how many it will narrow down to for interviews.

They hope to begin interviews no later than May 23, she said.

Once the board identifies who they will interview, they will decide what part of the interviewing process is public, she said.

After the interview, each finalist will be introduced at a public meeting, where members of the public can meet the applicant and ask questions.

“The district will do a much more extensive process for the permanent superintendent search” in the future, said Myhre.

Superintendent Kent Kultgen’s last day in his office is June 17, but he is superintendent through June 30, he said. He starts his new job as superintendent in Snohomish, Washington, in July.

The summaries below, which are slightly edited by the Independent Record, are provided by Bob Vogel of the Montana School Board Association. MSBA is helping the Helena School District in its interim superintendent search.

Timothy Bronk -- currently serves as the superintendent of the Laurel Public Schools. He has also served as superintendent in Darby and Highwood Public schools and as a principal in Corvallis, Montana. He has served in administrative and teaching positions in several school districts in Wisconsin and is enrolled in an Education Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Montana – Missoula. He earned his M.S. in educational leadership from Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota. He holds a B.S. in teacher education from Western Montana College in Dillon.

Lona Carter-Scanlon -- currently serves as principal at Jefferson Elementary School in Helena. She served as district Indian Education administrator, principal of Special Education Preschool, assistant high school principal, principal of the Project for Alternative Learning, and a special education teacher and social services coordinator at the middle school level -- all in the Helena Public Schools. She earned her superintendent endorsement from Montana State University – Bozeman. She holds a K-12 principal endorsement, a master’s degree in educational leadership, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana – Missoula.

George “Jack” Copps -- most recently served as the superintendent of the Billings Public Schools. He served as the first executive director for the Montana Quality Education Coalition. He was the Montana deputy superintendent of public instruction. He served as the assistant superintendent and superintendent of the Helena Public Schools. He was a high school principal in Lewistown, Montana. His school administration – superintendent training was at Montana State University – Bozeman. He holds a master’s degree in education and a B.S. in English, journalism and biology from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Craig Crawford -- currently serves as principal of Kessler Elementary in the Helena Public Schools. He serves as an adjunct professor at Carroll College. He served as the alternative education coordinator of the Helena Public Schools. He was an assistant principal, CTAE director, and teacher in the Thomasville City Schools, North Carolina. He has served as a school administration manager and teacher. He is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Montana – Missoula and was enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Valdosta State University, Georgia. He holds E-Learning Educator Certification from Southwest Georgia Technical College. His master’s degree in instructional leadership is from Tennessee Technological University and B.S. from the University of Texas – Arlington.

Corrina Guardipee-Hall -- currently serves as interim superintendent and has served as the assistant superintendent/principal in the Heart Butte School District. She served as superintendent in the Frazer, Montana, School District. She was superintendent/principal in Kake City School District in Alaska and principal at the Kodiak Island Borough School District. She served as vice principal and teacher in Browning, Montana. She earned her education specialist degree in educational leadership from Montana State University – Bozeman as well as her master’s degree in educational leadership. She holds a B.S. from Montana State University – Billings.

Jesse Hale -- currently serves as the instructional supervisor for exceptional children in Savannah, Georgia. He served as superintendent of the Atkinson County Schools in Pearson, Georgia. He was a principal in Towns County High School and Coile Middle School in Hiawassee and Athens, Georgia. He was the vocational supervisor for Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega, Georgia. He served as assistant state director for Career/Technology Education with the Georgia Department of Education. He was an assistant principal at Edwards Middle School in Conyers, Georgia. He also has teaching experience in several school districts. He earned his Ed.D. in school administration from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds an Ed.S. in special education from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. His master’s degree in education and B.S. degree are from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia.

Rebecca Hamman -- most recently served as interim principal and assistant principal at CT Technical High Schools and J.M. Wright Technical High School in Middletown/Stamford, Connecticut. She served as College Career Pathways coordinator at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was high school principal at New Rochelle High School in New York. She has principal experience at Westport Public Schools and New Fairfield Public Schools, both in Connecticut. She was a learning facilitator and team leader/teacher in Literacy/STEAM Enrichment in Greenwich Public Schools, Connecticut. She earned her Ed.D. from Columbia University/Teachers College in New York. She earned master’s degrees from Fordham University in New Rochelle and the College of New Rochelle, both in New York.

James Lentz -- currently serves as the superintendent of the Pipestone Area Schools in Pipestone, Minnesota, and has been in that position for 13 years. He previously served as superintendent for the MACCRAY School District in Clara City, Minnesota, and Howard Public Schools in Howard, South Dakota. He served as a principal in Howard, at Sacred Heart School in Yankton, South Dakota, and at St. Peter’s School in Delano, Minnesota. He was a teacher in the Estelline Public Schools in Estelline, South Dakota. He holds a bachelor of science degree from South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota. He earned his master’s in education leadership and instruction from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, and his education specialist in education administration from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion.

Keith Meyer -- currently serves as the director of education at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena. He served as interim superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of education, elementary director, K-12 curriculum director, elementary principal, gifted and talented teacher, and elementary teacher in the Helena Public Schools. He earned his superintendent’s endorsement from Montana State University – Bozeman. His master’s degree is from the University of Northern Colorado – Greeley. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University – Bozeman.

JT Stroder -- currently serves as superintendent of the Gardiner, Montana, School District. He served as superintendent of the Ingram Independent School District, Texas. He was superintendent of the Camas County School District in Idaho. He served as principal/director of academics at the Northwest Academy in Naples, Idaho. He served as an assistant principal, teacher, and coordinator of technology in Texas. He earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from Montana State University – Bozeman. His Ed.Specialist Degree in educational leadership is from the University of Idaho. He holds a master’s degree and B.S. degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Greg Upham -- currently serves as assistant superintendent of the Helena Public Schools. He served as high school principal at Helena High School and assistant principal at Capital High School. He was a teacher at Helena High School and in Belt, Montana. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Montana – Missoula and his B.S. in industrial technology from the University of Montana – Western.

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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