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McCullough, Gould top candidates for Tonasket schools superintendent

— The School Board has identified two candidates for the superintendent job as Steve McCullough of Curlew and Desiree Gould of PUllman.

The board will interview the candidates behind closed doors next week.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow to gather information on a third potential candidate the board may interview at a later date.

In the meantime, the board is scheduled to interview McCullough, currently the Curlew schools superintendent, at 7:30 p.m. Monday

The interview with Gould, an assistant principal in the Pullman School District, at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, March 10.

The interviews will take place secretly in the district boardroom at 35 E. state Highway 20.

Board members and Doug Asbjornsen — who is leading the search on behalf of headhunting firm McPherson and Jacobson — discussed the candidates during a three-and-a-half executive session last night.

Thirteen candidates applied, but one dropped out because of another job opening in Western Washington,

Asbjornsen said, noting he recommended two candidates.

After next week's interviews, should board members not be satisfied, Asbjornsen said an interim superintendent could fill the position and the search restarted.

The School Board has a full schedule for each respective applicant while they are in town.

At 9 a.m. the candidate with be greeted and tour of the district office with board members, following by meeting with staff at 10 a.m.

Candidates will meet with school administrators at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and a noon tour of the town.

At 1:30 p.m., candidates will interview staff. At 2:25 p.m., the candidates will meet students.

School District employees will discuss the candidates with the board at 3:45 p.m. and the community will have an opportunity to meet the candidates at 5 p.m.

A board-candidate dinner is set for 6:30 p.m., followed by board interviews at 7:30 p.m.

School officials said after meeting the candidate, stakeholders will be asked to submit their thoughts in writing to the facilitator. The public will also be allowed to fill out candidate comment forms, which will be reviewed by the board.

“The board values stakeholder participation and will consider all input,” said a statement from the school.

During a regular board meeting Nov. 24, the board discussed current Superintendent Paul Turner’s contract in executive session, then reconvened in public where members voted 3-2 not to renew his rolling contract.

According to a public records requested by The Chronicle, Turner’s latest board evaluation cited him as needing improvement in multiple categories.

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