Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

March 13, 2014

Board agrees to pay firm to assist in principal search

By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express

---- — The Knoxville School Board approved an agreement with Tryon and Associates in the amount of $5,900 to assist in the search for a new high school principal. Current Principal Kevin Crawford is retiring at the end of the school year.

Cassandra Murra, hired to succeed Dr. Randy Flack as superintendent of schools, has already recommended candidates to the board for interviews. Two of them had already accepted other positions prior to being interviewed for the Knoxville job.

Murra has been in contact with the board through the interview process via telephone and email. Tryon will continue to work with Murra and Flack to screen candidates and select finalists. The company will also aid in a final interview schedule that will include administrators, staff and community members.

The board planned to re-advertise the position this week and continue through March 19. The finalists should be interviewed April 3, with a contract offer coming April 4. Approval of the new contract is expected from the board in mid-April.

In other board action, the board approved its 2014-15 school year budget for publication. The district’s proposed budget will levy approximately $14.94 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. A public hearing was set for Monday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m.

Another public hearing was scheduled for the same date and time regarding the district’s proposed calendar. Staff’s prepared calendar is based upon instructional hours instead of days. Even with this change, the proposed calendar exceeds the state’s requirements of 1,080 hours for the school year. The first day of classes would be Aug. 18, 2014, and the last day would be June 1, 2015.

Other school board notes:

• Approved a work agreement for Laurie James, one-on-one associate at West Elementary.

• Approved a transfer for Jason Gramlich from eighth grade to seventh grade basketball.

• Knoxville Middle School Principal Brian McNeill shared his experiences as Mid-Level Principal of the Year. As we’ve reported, McNeill received this honor last year and traveled to Washington, D.C., for ceremonies. McNeill shared a video documenting the trip. He told the board the best part of the honor was the pride he felt for the community.

• Gave final approval to the annual eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. The board is hopeful that some of the students will come back and share their experiences with them after the trip. It will take place April 17-20. Board member Andrew Schmidt asked why the trip is always held Easter weekend. Flack said this is so that the students will not have to miss any school to take part.

• The next regular board meeting is Monday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m.