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 School Board Interviews Another Superintendent Applicant

May 21, 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board met privately in executive session Monday evening to interview another applicant for the school corporation's superintendent vacancy.

Monday's interview brings the number of applicants interviewed for the job to three. Two others were interviewed by the board during a private executive session May 13.

It is not known how many people have applied for the job. Board President Mike Fruth, when asked for this information, would not say.

According to Fruth, the number of applicants there have been for the positiion is confidential information. He claims that because the information was shared with board members in an executive session, it cannot be disclosed.

"The purpose of an executive session is for the board to discuss confidential information and therefore it should not be revealed to the public at this time," Fruth wrote in an e-mail to The Banner.

It could actually be the case that the correct answer to The Banner's question is that CAB has received no applications for the job - at least not in a direct sense. The superintendent job listing CAB posted with the Indiana Department of Education in December directed all applicants to send their application materials to a Lee Harman of Ball State University, a member of the four-person University Consulting Team assisting CAB with its search.

According to information the board has previously provided, the UCT was to review the applications it received, then do an initial screening to narrow the pool of candidates the board would interview. The Banner asked Fruth if he believed the public had no right to know the number of applications the UCT received and the number of applicants the board interviews.

"My position is that the Board continues to interview candidates and the numbers are fluid based upon the board's opinions," Fruth wrote back. "To give numbers would be difficult to do at this time and could not be assumed to be valid. It is still possible that the board could receive additional application documents."

Fruth said he didn't think it was "in the best interest of our process at this time" to reveal the number of applicants, and would not confirm the number of interviews conducted so far. He said more detailed information may be provided at a later time.

"The board members are all working together well and making good progress and in my opinion, this is what is important for the patrons to know," Fruth said.

Fruth has previously stated that he would like for the board to complete its interviews by the end of May, and to have someone hired by July 1. The terms in office for Fruth and two other board members, Larry Selvidge and Debi War, end June 30, and they will be replaced, respectively by Tim Wehr, Mark Fort and Steve Dalton, winners in the May 6 election.

Although Wehr, Fort and Dalton do not take office until July 1, they have been allowed to participate in the superintendent search process, in an informal, non-voting capacity. Although not obligated to do so, the current board opted to let the three board members-elect take part in the interviews, something which Wehr, Fort and Dalton have all told The Banner they appreciate.


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