Superintendent Search Launched


Déjà vu all over again.

Just two years after a mad scramble to find a new superintendent, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) is at it again.

The PUSD board hopes to sign a contract with the new leader of the school district before the end of the current school year. So the search opened on Feb. 20 and closes March 24.

The board has hired the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) to find candidates, publish a brochure, create a calendar for the hiring process, conduct an online survey, and help the board and community define what they would like to see in the future superintendent.

The online survey closes Feb. 28.

“Please go to for an online survey requesting your input on what you feel is most important during our upcoming Superintendent search,” wrote the district and board in an email. “Your responses will be of tremendous value in our selection and interview process.”

Some of the questions ask participants to list their priorities in areas like leadership, academic programs and communication.

Survey participants can choose whether they feel it is more important for the future superintendent to prove he/she has “successfully engaged the public, the media and support groups,” or “is known as a good listener,” among other.

The brochure will print this week.

The board hashed out the wording of the brochures at a meeting on Feb. 18.

Interim Superintendent Johnny Ketchem, Business Manager Kathie Manning and Director of Student Achievement Brenda Case went over the suggested brochure with the board to make sure of the content.

“We want them to see who we are and what they’re getting,” said Ketchem to the board members.

Prospective candidates will know the district’s mission and goals, know a little about each board member and the length of their terms, receive an introduction to the Rim Country and what it offers residents, an overview of current district projects, and understand the qualities the district seeks in a candidate.

Besides the online survey, the board would like to invite the community to attend a candidate forum on March 31.

For more information, visit the district Web site: or call the office at (928) 474-2070.


ASBA suggested timeline to hire the next PUSD superintendent:

Jan. 30 - Board approves ASBA contract

Jan. 30 - Develop profile (of candidate) and draft brochure at board meeting with ASBA

Feb. 4 - District to provide ASBA with district specific information for the brochure

Feb. 13 - ASBA provides draft brochure

Feb. 14 - Open online survey

Feb. 18 - Board reviews, makes adjustments and approves draft brochure and profile

Feb. 20 - Search opens

Feb. 28 - Close online survey

March 24 - Search closes

March 24 - Application screening with board

March 31 - Candidate forum, public meetings, district tour

April 1 - Candidate interviews with board

April 2 - Board meeting to determine candidate finalist

TBD - Contract negotiations

TBD - Board names new superintendent.

Superintendent begins duties as established in the contract between the district and superintendent.


H. Wm. Rhea III 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, it's the School Board that really needs replacing. We need honest people with a vision, who can stick to a plan.


John Lemon 2 years, 11 months ago

Several members of the Board served when a number of reprehensible decisions were made. The firing of PHS Administrators, the budgetary debt of over 1 million dollars and other actions ( or lack of actions) inform me of a lack of appropriate, ethical leadership and perhaps a lack of knowledge of the proper role of members of a school district Board . Personal agendas and decisions apparently based upon a lack of education will continue unless changes are made. 1. Changes in members of the Board through the election process might help. 2. Changes in attitude through "education" of members by a Superintendent would help. 3. Changes in ethics and attitudes on the part of certain members would help. If any or none of these things occur, the future looks dismal. We need a Board that realizes that good education is reliant on good leadership and good staff. We seem to have the staff but seem to have a lack of leadership at the top level.


H. Wm. Rhea III 2 years, 11 months ago

Your comment is spot on. It's what many of the people who post comments here on the Roundup website have been saying for a long time - and rightly so. Bad leadership at the top is ruining the kids education and sapping the will of the staff to do their jobs.


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