Milton to use consultant to find superintendent
MILTON The Milton School Board has decided to hire the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to help conduct a search for former school district Superintendent Mike Garrow's replacement.
Pending board approval of a contract, which could come early next month, the board on Monday approved paying consultants from WASB's administrative search service up to $11,000.
The board hired Garrow in April 2011 to replace outgoing Superintendent Bernie Nikolay, who was leaving to become superintendent in Cambridge. During that search, the board handled most of the duties of screening and interviewing candidates.
Before ultimately hiring Garrow, board members screened several candidates and observed Garrow at work with students and staff at his former job as principal at Mount Horeb High School, according to district officials.
Interim Superintendent Theresa Rusch said a few board members who had played key roles in that search were working part-time jobs at the time, but that those board members are "now in full-time positions and do not have the time to devote to conducting a search for themselves."
Rusch said the board could draw from information and experience it gathered from its superintendent search two years ago. This would allow the board to have WASB's search consultants provide services "a la cart," she said.
Board member Betsy Lubke, who was involved in the search that resulted in Garrow's hiring, said having WASB offer partial service would save the district a few thousand dollars. She estimated hiring a firm to conduct a full-service search would cost about $13,000.
Lubke said that WASB consultants would use focus groups to screen, vet and select a pool of candidates. From there, the board likely would handle interviewing.
Lubke said having consultants handle much of the search also would put the process under a fresh set of eyes.
"One of the things about using an external search firm is that they can be very objective about candidates," she said. "We see that as a big benefit."
The new superintendent likely would begin work July 1, Lubke said.
Garrow resigned late last year after a board-commissioned investigation was conducted for complaints about his conduct, allegations of improper fraternization in public and inappropriate use of district computer equipment.
While the investigation into Garrow's computer use showed inconclusive results, an investigator found he had not fraternized inappropriately in public.
Garrow was slated to get an improvement plan by the board but declined the plan and instead resigned. The board agreed to pay his salary for the rest of the year but to sever in half his two-year contract that would have run out in June 2014.
The board also approved a severance package of $35,000 for Garrow.
Rusch is being paid an additional $20,000 as interim superintendent, according to district records.