The District 65 School Board is down to one candidate for Superintendent of School District 65. In an email dated Nov. 22 to the community, Board President Suni Kartha advised that the Board had narrowed the pool to two candidates for the position. In a Nov. 26 email to the community, she announced that one of the two candidates had withdrawn. Ms. Kartha said the Board plans to go forward with the interview process with the remaining candidate on Dec. 3.

On Oct. 28, in a closed session meeting, representatives of BWP & Associates, the District’s search consultants, presented a report to the School Board advising that 31 people had completed an application for Superintendent of School District 65. BWP recommended five of the 31 people for the School Board to interview. The BWP team’s report said they used the Superintendent Profile developed with community input in selecting the candidates they recommended.

The School Board interviewed the candidates on Nov. 12, 13 and 14, all in closed session meetings. On Nov. 18, the Board scheduled three closed session meetings for Dec. 2, 3 and 4, presumably to reserve time to interview candidates for Superintendent.

Ms. Kartha said in her Nov. 22 email that the Board narrowed the pool to two final candidates. She said, “Both individuals have been invited to participate in a ‘Day in the District’ on December 3 and 4. Each candidate will tour two of our schools and take part in a community-based focus group followed by final interviews with the School Board. Educators, parents, community representatives, administrators, and union leaders who participated in the Leadership Profile focus groups have been invited to participate in the December 3 or December 4 sessions.”

On Nov. 26, Ms. Kartha announced, “Late last night, the Board was notified that one of our finalists is withdrawing their name from consideration. The candidate noted that they were excited for the opportunity to work in our district, which they described as ‘a national leader in equity and social justice work.’ However, after talking with their district leadership team, the candidate indicated overwhelming support to see their equity vision through in their current district.

“While the Board is disappointed this candidate made the late decision to withdraw from our search, we remain extremely excited about our other finalist. The Board is moving forward with the planned ‘A Day in the District’ activities for our finalist on December 3, including tours of two of our schools, participation in a community-based focus group, and a final interview with the School Board. Educators, parents, community representatives, administrators, and union leaders who participated in the Leadership Profile focus groups have been invited to participate in the December 3 session.

“It is still our intention to announce our new superintendent as soon as possible after the final interview, and no later than January.”

At the start of the process, the Board discussed the possibility of having a meeting open to the community with each candidate on the candidate’s Day in the District. It appears that a meeting open to the community will not be held.