School board taking first steps to replace Seidenwurm

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Municipal School board of education plans to meet next week to decide the first step in finding a replacement for Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.

Seidenwurm announced Wednesday she will resign at the end of the school year.

Board members say it’s too early in the process to know what’s coming.

President Lora Harlan said the board will meet this week to set in motion the process of hiring a new superintendent.

Seidenwurm cited massive construction projects over the next five years as her reason for resigning. Harlan said the board is aware of the needs of the district and those needs would play a role in the board’s final choice.

Vice President Mark Lansford said he believes the board will move on hiring a new superintendent in the near future.

“Our top priority is the education of the kids,” he said. “But we’ll be moving on this as quickly as we can.”

Lansford said the board will look for a well-rounded individual.

“Construction is part of that, instruction is part of that, finance is a part of that, personnel is a part of that,” Lansford said. “The person that sits in the superintendent seat wears many hats.”

Lansford said the board intends to involve the public in the process, as they did five years ago when hiring Seidenwurm.

“We will be as transparent about this as we can be,” he said.

Lansford said the process five years ago took about six months because the board appointed G.C. Ross as interim superintendent, giving them some extra time to fill the position.

“I don’t think it will take as long this time, but there are a lot of things out of our control,” Lansford said.

Joel Shirley, deputy superintendent of operations, said having a superintendent who understands construction would be helpful going into the expansive construction projects.

“Considering the millions of dollars we’re getting ready to use now, it would be helpful for the superintendent to know what we’re going through,” he said.

Shirley said while he doesn’t agree that Seidenwurm doesn’t have the expertise to deal with the upcoming construction, he said a superintendent in a smaller district generally needs knowledge of various fields.

“Does she know construction details? I doubt it. But she understands long-term planning and funding, bonding cycles, going out to the public to explain why something is necessary,” Shirley said. “As you get in to different phases of construction, different people will have a different level of understanding.”

Shirley said he believes the board will hire a person that they think they can work with to accomplish the goals of the district.