BEATRICE – The Superintendent of Ord Public Schools since 2011, has accepted an offer to be the new Superintendent for Beatrice Public Schools.
Jason Alexander was offered the position by the Beatrice School Board Saturday, after interviews with four candidates by members of the board, school staff, administration and a community group.
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Alexander and Beatrice Public Schools Curriculum Director Jackie Nielsen were scored as the two finalist candidates by the 55 people who participated in the process, and the decision didn’t come without differences on the District 15 Board.
Monday night, a formal agreement will be considered for a two-year contract that would pay Alexander $160,000 the first year. Alexander spent Friday touring Beatrice Public Schools, meeting with staff and observing.
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The board deadlocked on a 3-3- vote three times, before voting 4-2 to hire Alexander. It took two hours of deliberation and two executive sessions, before the selection was made.
Initially, Alexander was supported by Board members Steve Winter, Lisa Pieper and Jon Zimmerman. Nielsen was supported by Board members Doris Martin, Nancy Sedlacek and Janet Byars. It was Byars who provided the fourth and deciding vote, after the board decided to amend Monday night’s school board agenda to take up administrative restructuring. There’s been discussion of eliminating one administrative position, and perhaps transitioning to a Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for the District.
For board members, the choice came down to two solid finalists……one with extensive curriculum experience…..and another with experience in budgeting and finance who has served as a superintendent.
Board member Doris Martin, a retired teacher, said a candidate strong in the area of curriculum was important to her.
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Board member Steve Winter pointed out that Alexander scored the highest on a matrix used by those conducting the interviews.
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School Board President Lisa Pieper said having Alexander and Nielsen working together, is a strong combination for the district.
Dr. Roy Baker, of Baker and Rastovski School Services…the consulting firm hired in the search process….said both Alexander and Nielsen stood out clearly as the top two finalists.
Other candidates interviewed Saturday at Beatrice High School were Michael Sieh, Superintendent at Stanton Community Schools…and Michael Halley, Principal at Scottsbluff Public Schools.
Alexander would take over for Pat Nauroth, who previously announced he’ll retire from the district, at the end of next June. Also retiring from the district is Business Manager, John Brazell.