Superintendent Search Update
The Harlan Community School District Board of Directors is pleased to announce the three finalists in its Superintendent search. Grundmeyer Leader Services has been assisting the Board with the search. Initially a Community Stakeholder Survey was utilized; based on this data, the Board approved the following eight Desired Characteristics for the next Superintendent.
• Is approachable, accessible and welcoming
• Demonstrates ethics and integrity
• Follows through on tasks and responsibilities
• Recruits, hires and develops a strong administrative team
• Possess strong communication skills
• Strong instructional leader
• Ability to lead school improvement efforts
• Effectively manages district resources including facility updates
On Thursday, January 21, the Board conducted semifinalist interviews via Zoom with all seven candidates. After reviewing the semifinalist interviews and all application materials, the following three candidates were selected as finalists.
Dr. Jennifer Barnett: Dr. Barnett is currently serving as the Executive Director of Targeted Services and Supports for Green Hills Area Education Association; she has served in this capacity for the past two years. Previously, Dr. Barnett served as a Regional Administrator for Green Hills AEA, and 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 previous experience 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. She is known for her collaborative approach to leadership and her approachability.
Andy Irwin: Mr. Irwin is currently the Superintendent and Elementary Principal at Harris-Lake Park CSD; he has served in that capacity the past four years. Previously he served as the Assistant Principal and Activities Director at Shenandoah CSD, 7-12 Principal and Activities Director at East Mills CSD, Assistant Principal and Activities Director at Fairbury, Nebraska, Social Studies Teacher at Creighton CSD, and Industrial Technology Teacher at East Mills CSD. Mr. Irwin has done substantial work with school facilities and integration of technology in his current district. One notable accomplishment is helping to develop the Lakes Area Academy which offers vocational programs to area students. He also revamped the district teacher evaluation process. Mr. Irwin is known as being a real collaborator, communicator, and relationship-builder.
Robert Scott: Mr. Scott is currently the Associate Superintendent at Davenport Community School District; he has served in that capacity the past eight years. Previously Mr. Scott served as Principal at Davenport Central High School, Associate Principal at Davenport Central High School, Physical Education Teacher at Wood Intermediate School in Davenport, 13 years as Physical Education/Math/Health Teacher at two schools in Illinois, and two years in the US Army. As an administrator, Mr. Scott has overseen principals, implementation of Professional Learning Communities, and multiple building and remodeling projects. He also leads district negotiations for the district and their safety plan. He has also been very involved in the community of Davenport participating in multiple civic organizations and volunteer opportunities.
Finalist interviews will be conducted on-campus on Thursday, February 11; included that day will be district and community tours, interviews with two mixed interview teams comprised of administrators and directors; teachers; support staff; parents and community members; and students, and an interview with the School Board. Following completion of the interviews on February 11, the Board will meet to review feedback from all stakeholders involved in the interview process, and tentatively select the new Superintendent for the Harlan Community School District. The new Superintendent will officially start his/her tenure on July 1; in the interim between hire and officially beginning, the successful candidate will be involved in a number of transition activities for the district.