In addition to finding an interim replacement for dismissed Mingus Union High School District Interim Superintendent Eric Harmon, the MUHSD Governing Board has narrowed its list of permanent superintendent candidates down to four.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Jack Keegan will become the interim superintendent for MUSHD through Friday, June 30, operating in a transitional role between the outgoing Harmon and the incoming superintendent.
According to MUHSD Governing Board President Anita Galazar, it is a responsibility Keegan is well suited for. “He’s retired, and this is what he does. He helps out districts when they’re in trouble.”
Boasting four decades of experience as a teacher and administrator of public schools, Keegan most recently acted as interim superintendent of Gilbert Public School District in 2013 and 2014.
“He’s just so exuberant, and I’m excited,” Glazar said of the selection.
The approval of Keegan’s contract came after a governing board meeting that lasted over four hours Tuesday, Jan. 24. According to MUHSD Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Brandi Bateman, Keegan has accepted the offer but has not yet signed the contract.
Regarding the unilateral termination of Harmon, Glazar said, “”We’re not able to comment. That’s what our district attorney told us to do.”
Nonetheless, Glazar added that the decision “was very carefully considered” and took into mind the district’s needs and goals.
During the Jan. 24 meeting, the Governing Board also selected four finalists from the applicant pool for the position of superintendent.
“The finalists were invited to an intense, full-day interview process on Monday, Feb. 27,” Bateman stated via press release. “In addition to being interviewed by the governing board, the finalists will have additional opportunities to learn about the district and community.”
Accordingly, each finalist will interview with a committee composed of staff, community members and a student, meet with district office employees and be shown around the MUHS campus by student leaders. Members of the community are invited to a forum Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the MUHS cafeteria.
“We want someone that really understands district business,” Glazar said, adding that a working knowledge of business and legal matters will be key.
According to Glazar, announcement of the selected candidate will come the following day. After the announcement, the Governing Board will begin contract negotiations.
The candidates are:
- Margaret Crespo, chief academic officer, Thompson School District, Loveland, Colo.
- Penny Hargrove, superintendent, Hiawatha Public Schools, Hiawatha, Ka.
- Todd Peterson, human resources director, Whiteriver Unified School District, Whiteriver.
- Justin Roberson, principal, Tuba City Unified School District, Tuba City.