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Sheridan County School District 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty explains the district’s Smart Start plan proposal during a board of trustees luncheon Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

SHERIDAN — A good communicator. Innovative. Transparent. Willing to meet accountability standards. These are among the traits Sheridan County School District 2 Board of Trustees members would like the next superintendent to possess.

The board met briefly Monday to discuss the process for hiring Superintendent Craig Dougherty’s successor. Dougherty will retire at the end of June 2021.

The application for the position was posted earlier this month and will remain open through Dec. 7.

Trustee Tony Wendtland, who called into the meeting, said they all want the candidate who scores high in every category but will have to see who applies for the position.

Each of the other trustees also outlined traits they’d like to see. The most common mentioned included accountability, transparent, honesty and good communication skills.

Trustee Shellie Szmyd noted some teachers and staff are currently afraid to speak with administration for fear of losing their jobs, and noted the incoming superintendent should be aware of such issues and work to address them.

Szmyd also indicated that while proud of the district’s recognition as the best in the state, she worries about the effect that has on both students’ and staff members’ emotional wellbeing.

“I see kindergartners all the time who hate kindergarten because we are pushing too hard,” she said.

Mitch Craft, SCSD2 assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment, said the district has six active applications within its system for the position.

The job listing on the district website indicates minimum qualifications include a master’s degree, teaching experience, administration experience, an understanding of the professional learning community framework and the ability to obtain — or possession of — a current Wyoming Superintendent Certification.

The listing also indicates the annual salary will start at $160,000. Other compensation will include medical and dental family insurance paid in full, a Wyoming Retirement System pension plan contribution (with 14.69% paid by the district and 3.43% paid by the employee), annual paid leave of 19 days, 21 vacation days, four personal days and 12 sick days.

The position will begin July 1, 2021.

Following the closure of the application period, the board will meet to select candidates to be interviewed and conduct reference checks. Candidates will complete interviews Jan. 25-26 and participate in a community forum from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 26.

Kristen Czaban has worked with The Sheridan Press since June 2008, moving to Wyoming after graduating from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She covered a wide range of beats before becoming editor in 2012 and publisher in 2017.

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