Palo Alto school board members will meet behind closed doors Wednesday, April 30, to review applications of eight semi-finalists to replace Superintendent Kevin Skelly, who announced in February his resignation effective June 30.
The eight applicants four from out of state have been pre-screened by a trio of retired California school superintendents who are managing the school district's search through their consulting firm, Leadership Associates.
Applications were sought through word of mouth as well as by advertisement of a "position description" developed by the board after it solicited comment from Palo Alto community members.
The board's task Wednesday will be to decide which of the eight semi-finalists to invite for face-to-face interviews with the board, currently scheduled for May 15. Public comment is invited at the beginning of the 10:30 a.m. meeting at school district headquarters (25 Churchill Ave.) before the board goes into closed session Wednesday.
After the May 15 interviews, the board aims to home in on a finalist, visit his or her current school district for a "validation visit" sometime in May and take action to appoint a new superintendent in June, according to Board President Barb Mitchell.
Mitchell said she is "working on releasing the community inputs with some minor redactions to protect privacy. There are quite a few from several focus groups and open forums, plus survey responses."
In its last search for a superintendent in 2007, the board interviewed three finalists before settling on Skelly, then an associate superintendent in California's Poway Unified School District who had previously served as principal of Saratoga High School.