3 districts seeking superintendents

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Aubrey, Pilot Point, Little Elm officials hunting for candidates

Three Denton County school districts are trying to find new superintendents this summer as the school year rapidly approaches.

Aubrey, Little Elm and Pilot Point are among 42 Texas school districts with superintendent vacancies, according to TexasISD.com. The website is a source of school news for educators.

On July 10, Aubrey began accepting applications from internal candidates for the superintendent job. Applications are being collected through Tuesday.

Ron Bullock, school board president, said he and the board will collect applications and decide whether to conduct a wider search for candidates.

James Monaco resigned as superintendent last year and now serves as the district’s chief financial officer. Debby Sanders was appointed to a one-year term as interim superintendent last summer. Bullock said then that the board would evaluate Sanders and determine whether she would become the permanent superintendent.

Sanders, an Aubrey ISD employee for more than 30 years, said Thursday that she’s interested.

“After doing it for a year, I felt like there are some things in the district I can make a positive impact on,” she said. “I love the district. I love Aubrey.”

Whether other internal candidates are interested in the Aubrey job remains to be seen.

The Little Elm school board soon will select a firm to oversee its superintendent search, officials said.

Lynne Leuthard resigned as Little Elm superintendent June 30. She and the board mutually agreed to a voluntary separation agreement and release. The district agreed to pay Leuthard $210,723 on or before July 18. The amount was the one-year value of her salary. Leuthard also received a signed recommendation letter from former board president Stephanie Gregg as part of the agreement.

Leuthard and six other Little Elm administrators have submitted resignations in recent months.

Matthew Gutierrez, the district’s human resources chief, is serving as acting superintendent. In an email Thursday, he said he had no interest in pursuing the job full time. Gutierrez has worked for the district for 14 months.

“I will, however, pour my heart into the role of acting superintendent,” he wrote.

DeLeon English, Little Elm’s school board president, was not available for comment.

This week, the Pilot Point school board interviewed six candidates for its superintendent job.

Pilot Point selected Arrow Educational Services Inc., based in Henderson, to oversee its search. On Saturday, the board met to review more than 40 resumes before narrowing down the list, board president Pat Burns said in an email. He declined to comment on whether any district employees applied for the job, citing confidentiality concerns.

Last month, Pilot Point Superintendent Byron Terrier agreed to resign effective June 30. Per terms of the agreement, Terrier was promised $74,000 on or before July 31 and a signed recommendation letter. The payout was reflective of Terrier’s contract salary and benefits value through Dec. 31.

Assistant Superintendent Dan Gist is serving as acting superintendent. He could not be reached for comment.

Burns said school board members intend to ask two candidates back for a second interview before naming a lone finalist. The hiring process could be completed as early as next week, which would allow the new superintendent to take office in time to start the school year Aug. 25.

“That’s the goal we are aiming for right now,” he wrote.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.


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