BHCESD looking for quick hire of superintendent

February 18, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Bullhead City school board members are fast-tracking their search for a new superintendent.

At an early morning meeting Friday, the board decided that it needs to publish the position as soon as possible, member Diane Beardsley said.

She said later Friday that the group decided not to enlist the Arizona School Boards Association’s help in the search ... for now.

The board took no action on an agenda item regarding the use of the ASBA for the superintendent search, similar to what the Colorado River Union High School District is doing.

Supt. Benje Hookstra is retiring in June.

Beardsley said the search will cover all of Arizona and that the board will work with universities in the state.

A timeline for filling the position will be among topics at the board’s regular meeting, this Thursday, Beardsley said.

She said she hopes to have a new superintendent in place by July 1, the start of the new school year.

“Personally, I would like to see the superintendent chosen well before then,” Beardsley said. “To be able to collaborate with Mr. Hookstra and other district personnel to find out what measures need to be put in place and what the priorities will be.”

She said an early start would allow the new superintendent to become familiar with school and district culture and get a head start on addressing the needs of students and staff.

In a workshop before the main meeting, board member Melinda Sobraske noted that Hookstra also served as the BCESD’s business manager, a job that he did in his role as assistant superintendent, and after being named superintendent following Riley Frei’s resignation.

Sobraske added that a return to two superintendents also means hiring a new administrative assistant, as the current secretary works for both the BCESD and the CRUHSD.

She said she’d like to hire someone who has previous district-office experience.

Board members sensed that other resources could be used in the search, such as the state school superintendents association and Arizona’s colleges and universities.

Board member Doug Lutz said the school district should use ASBA-type recruiting information, but focus on in-house talent.

Board member Geni Borland said she hoped to find someone vested in the community.

Kory Burgess said the district needs to post the job ad locally.