Harlan Community School District Superintendent Hiring Announcement
February 15, 2021
The Harlan Community Board of Education is pleased to announce a new district superintendent pending formal board approval. The school board and Grundmeyer Leader Services Consultants conducted semifinalist screening interviews on Thursday, Jan. 21. Soon after the screening interviews three finalists were named: Dr. Jennifer Barnett, Mr. Andy Irwin, and Mr. Robert Scott. The three finalists interviewed within the district on Thursday, February 11; the format included interviews with two mixed interview teams consisting of community members, parents, teachers, students, support staff, and administrators; interviews with the School Board, and a school and community tour.
Everyone on the interview teams provided the school board direct feedback about each of the finalists. It was clear that each of the finalists brought unique skills and qualifications to the position. During the decision-making process, one of the finalists withdrew from consideration due to family circumstances. The board reconvened on Sunday, February 14th to review the data from the formal interviews again and made the offer to Dr. Jennifer Barnett.
Jenny was happy to immediately accept the position saying, " I am extremely excited to become a part of an amazing district. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you grow.”
Board President Amy Rueschenberg said, “The board had 3 very strong superintendent candidates. The Harlan Community Board of Education feels that Dr. Barnett’s instructional leadership, background in social and emotional learning and enthusiasm to develop relationships will enhance the vision of the district. She seems eager to be in Harlan and will be a positive addition to our district. We look forward to welcoming her and her husband to our community.”
Jenny and her husband Todd, a principal in the Council Bluffs School District, are looking forward to becoming a part of the Harlan community. They have two children, Conner, who is a sophomore in college and Nick, a freshman in college. In her free time she enjoys watching her sons play baseball on their college teams.
Dr. Barnett is currently serving as the Executive Director of Targeted Services and Supports for Green Hills Area Education Association (AEA) which she has done the last two years. Previously, Dr. Barnett served as a Regional Administrator for Green Hills AEA, after a 23 year tenure within the Council Bluffs Community School District as Executive Director of Student and Family Services, Principal, Assistant Principal, Guidance Counselor, and Special Education Teacher. Her educational experiences also included four years serving as the Principal of Kanesville High School where she developed the Passages Alternative Learning Center. Dr. Barnett has done substantive work locally and at the state level around mental health and social/emotional learning.
Jenny has a Bachelor of Science in education Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her Master of Science in Secondary School Counseling was issued from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1999. She also earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration in 2005 from UNO. Her Doctor of Education was also from UNO which she completed in 2019.
Dr. Barnett will transition with Interim Superintendent Lynn Johnson between now and officially starting her contract on July 1, 2021. Please welcome Jenny to the Cyclone family!
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