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 email@example.com