Juneau schools chief Gelbrich finalist for job in Idaho

Juneau schools chief is flying away for interview
Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich has his final interview for an Idaho superintendent job Monday.

After a near miss with a Montana job earlier this year, Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich is up for another superintendent position, this time in Idaho.


Gelbrich is one of two finalists for the top schools job in Nampa, Idaho, according to a Thursday news release from the Nampa School District. Nampa is a city of about 84,000 located 20 miles west of Boise.

“I am delighted to be considered for the superintendent role in the Nampa School District,” Gelbrich said in the release. “The efforts underway in the school district and the livability of this vibrant community make it an ideal place to live and work. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know the stakeholders in the community better as a part of this process.”

Gelbrich’s contract with JSD does not expire until June 2016.

JSD Board of Education President Sally Saddler said by phone that she is aware that Gelbrich is considering another job.

“I’m very sad that he would feel the need to look elsewhere, but I understand,” she said. “Does it make me happy? No. I think Juneau is losing one of our greatest treasures.”

Gelbrich, as well as the other candidate, North Mason (Wash.) School District Superintendent David Peterson, will be interviewed by the Nampa School District Board of Trustees early Monday morning in Nampa, according to Nampa school board agendas. The finalists will also tour schools and meet teachers during the visit, according to the release. A community meet-and-greet with both candidates will be held at the Nampa district office that evening, and both candidates will give PowerPoint presentations on themselves.

The JSD Budget Committee is submitting its budget proposal to the Juneau school board the next day at a special meeting. Saddler said she isn’t sure if Gelbrich will be back in Juneau for the meeting, but he can participate by telephone or videoconference.

According to Nampa school board agendas, Gelbrich had an executive session Skype interview with the board Feb. 24. Later that night, he attended the second-to-last JSD Budget Committee meeting at Thunder Mountain High School.

The Nampa school board appointed a community search committee in the fall to find a replacement for Interim Superintendent Pete Koehler, who will retire in June, according to the district release.

“The committee sought feedback from stakeholders about the qualities, knowledge, and abilities expected in a superintendent,” the release stated. “The committee sponsored 11 focus groups and received more than 900 online responses. Information was used to develop the application, screening tools, and interview questions. In February, the committee forwarded four candidates to the board.”

Several Idaho news sources reported Friday on Gelbrich’s candidacy for the position. The Idaho Education News reported that the Nampa district is searching for its fourth superintendent since 2012. Its last interim superintendent resigned “publicly and abruptly” in May 2013, according to a previous Idaho Education News report. The district has also recently dealt with a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall, the report stated.

Gelbrich did not respond to requests for comment by press time Saturday.

• Empire editor James Brooks contributed to this report.

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