Denair Unified plans quick process for hiring superintendent

naustin@modbee.comMay 15, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin

— Denair Unified School District is moving ahead with its superintendent search, holding a town hall meeting for public input June 4 and setting a fast pace to find and vet candidates. If all goes well, the town will be toasting its new school leader at a reception Sept. 12.

The Stanislaus County Office of Education will provide human resource expertise for a statewide search, interviews, negotiations and background checks, saving Denair the cost of outside consultants often used when seeking top-tier leaders.

A public forum is set for June 4 to give the community and staff members an opportunity to tell the board what traits, abilities and experience they hope to see in the next superintendent.

The Denair board fired Superintendent Ed Parraz on March 14. His settlement with the district continues his $108,000 salary through mid-August and his health benefits through June 30, 2014. Retired educator Walt Hanline was hired as interim superintendent, paid $600 a day.

Denair Unified remains in financial straits, slated to run out of reserves and into the red before the fiscal year ends June 30.

An outside fiscal expert called in to help the district told the board last week that an additional $550,000 must be cut from next year's budget for the district to avoid a state takeover.

That amount likely would be achievable only through salary concessions. The district has not settled contracts with its teachers or support staff for next year.

The public forum will be at 6 p.m. June 4 in the Denair Middle School Coyote Center, 3460 Lester Road. Written comments may be submitted via a survey on the district website,, or on a survey form available in the district office, 3460 Lester Road.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at, (209) 578-2339, on Twitter @NanAustin or online at


Here are planned dates in the process to hire a superintendent for Denair Unified School District.

JUNE 1: Stanislaus County Office of Education to submit advertisement to Association of California School Administrators EdCAL publication by this date

JUNE 4: Board will seek input from the community and staff for development of leadership profile for job posting, 6 p.m., Denair Middle School Coyote Center

JUNE 12: Special meeting, 6 p.m., board to review and approve leadership profile

JULY 12: Applications close

JULY 16: Interim Superintendent Walt Hanline and Stanislaus County Superintendent Tom Changnon review all candidate applications

JULY 19: Board receives applications and files for review

JULY 25: In closed session, board receives candidate report from Hanline and decides which candidates to interview

AUG. 2-3: In closed session, first and second rounds of interviews by board, county office notified of top candidate for comprehensive background, references and credentials check

AUG. 3-8: Board negotiates contract with top candidate

AUG. 8: Board votes on the new superintendent, approves contract

AUG. 9: Superintendent starts work by this date

SEPT. 12: Time prior to meeting set aside to introduce superintendent to community at a reception

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