get it home page promo

School board chooses firm for CEO search

2011-10-04T00:00:00Z School board chooses firm for CEO searchBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 04, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Trustees selected a firm Monday night to help in their search for a new superintendent.

The board agreed to conduct reference checks on McPherson and Jacobsen, an executive recruitment and development firm based out of Nebraska, and is expected to vote on a contract later this month.

Trustees interviewed three other firms: Montana School Boards Association, Northwest Leadership Associates and Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates. Each of the four firms was given 45 minutes for a presentation. 

In the end, trustees agreed that McPherson and Jacobsen had an aggressive, nationwide recruitment plan needed to locate a suitable CEO for Helena Public Schools.

“I’ve learned a lot of additional information through the process,” board chair Michael O’Neil said.

The initial proposal estimates the cost of the superintendent search at $15,000, which covers advertising, travel and office expenses. The proposal said the firm is committed to working with the district until a superintendent is identified and hired, and if a second round of candidate selection was necessary the only cost to the district would be additional expenses, not an additional fee for services.

Vice chair Aidan Myhre said it was critical to hire a firm that could conduct a national search and McPherson and Jacobson presented just that.

Don Jones said he was impressed with aggressive recruitment offered by the national firms.

“Sounds like they’ll have several candidates they’ll be able to sift through,” he said.

Trustee Libbi Lovshin said she liked the idea presented of selling the district to potential candidates.

“It will make sure candidates know our community is a wonderful place to live and work,” she said.

O’Neil said he was impressed with the rigor of the plan presented by McPherson and Jacobsen.

Myhre said she was pleased to hear the firm pay attention to student participation.

“That means a lot to me,” she said.

Trustees Libby Goldes, Robin LeNeve and Terry Beaver all spoke well of their observations of McPherson and Jacobsen too.

“They are on the top of my list,” Goldes said. “They had great attention to detail that would serve us quite well.”

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

    3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

    4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick


Follow the Independent Record

Great Helena Businesses

Featured Offers & Deals