The Hays USD 489 Board of Education brought the superintendent search discussion into the open Monday evening.
Superintendent Dean Katt announced his resignation in February to take a job as head of the human resources department for the Independence (Mo.) school district.
“We’ve done a very poor job, in my opinion, with being transparent with this whole process,” BOE President Lance Bickle said. “I personally apologize for that. We should have had more discussions down here in open session concerning this.”
“I think it does rightfully fall under personnel transactions, so I think it’s just probably enough sharing with the public that we have been hard at work during the last three weeks with questions in executive session about the superintendent search,” BOE member Sarah Rankin said. “I feel that when we have a firm decision, we will be sharing that with the public.”
Katt said the board has spent considerable time discussing searching for his replacement.
At the March 21 meeting, the board entered into seven executive sessions for a total of two and a half hours. Negotiations and personnel were cited as the reason for the first 30-minute session. Personnel was given as the reason for the other executive sessions.
Katt was hired by USD 489 in September 2013 as interim superintendent to replace Will Roth. Following a search, Katt was named superintendent of the district a few months later in December.
BOE member Luke Oborny said the board also discussed costs of a superintendent search behind closed doors if the district used the Kansas Association of School Boards.
There are a number of superintendent openings in the state which “can be pretty scary,” Oborny said.
BOE member Paul Adams said the board has discussed the merits of an external or internal candidate “and trying to look and see if we had a viable candidate.”
Executive sessions were because of confidentiality of the internal candidate the board was considering, he said.
“We should have given some more updates,” Bickle said.
The board entered into a 30-minute and a 15-minute executive sessions to discuss personnel. Katt and BOE Attorney Bill Jeter were in the first session for approximately 20 minutes.
BOE Vice President Josh Waddell was absent.