Libby School Board members are advancing toward a replacement for Superintendent K.W. Maki and hope to hire a new superintendent next month.
“We’re looking toward the middle or late next month,” said Libby School Board Chairwoman Ellen Johnston. “We’d like to have 10 to 12 candidates from which to narrow the field.”
The board has hired the Montana School Boards Association for $5,500 to assist in the nationwide search. The association is accepting applications until Jan. 17.
“It’s the board’s decision, but the MTSBA is a great resource to find the best candidates,” Maki said. “They make sure all the criteria is met, that the candidates meet all the requirements.”
Maki, 68, surprised board members Oct. 14 when he announced he would retire June 30 after 16 years as superintendent of Libby schools.
Bob Vogel, the School Boards Association director for governmental relations, is assisting the board with the search.
“Typically, when we close the search we will advance the candidates to the board which will then narrow the field to three or four,” Vogel said. “Ellen is correct to say by mid-February for a decision. Certainly by the end of the month.”
Vogel explained board members then will invite those finalists to Libby for interviews.
The process will be similar to that of when the district hired Ruth VanWorth-Rogers as principal of Libby High School. During that process the interviews were open to the public.
Vogel said he is unaware of the number of candidates who have so far submitted applications.
“I don’t generally look until the date gets a little closer,” Vogel said.
During a recent MTSBA search conducted for Kalispell schools, nine candidates were forwarded to its board.
“I’d like to have 12 candidates from which to choose,” Johnston, the board chairwoman, said. “We want to have the absolute best candidate. I know we’re not going to find another Kirby.”
In addition to his superintendent duties, Maki is principal of the Alternative School, curriculum director and director of the special-education department.