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Superintendent Search On Target
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With a little less than six months to go before he retires, Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Dave Mantooth said the search process is moving along well for his replacement.

School board members were scheduled to hear an update on the process in closed session at their Tuesday night meeting, Jan.19, and Mantooth said he anticipates they will stick to a schedule that has a new superintendent selected by the end of March. The months of April, May and June will include time for the new superintendent to work with Mantooth to make a smooth transition.

Mantooth said the position has been advertised and applications have already been submitted for the top job at the district.

"About a week and a half ago, they were starting to get a number of applicants in," Mantooth said.

Applications will be accepted through the end of this month.

One panel will then screen the applicants before determining which ones will move on to the next phase. A different panel will do the actual candidate interviews.

"The board is in the process of selecting the panel to screen the candidates," Mantooth explained, noting that they want a wide cross section of people involved in the search process.

It will include representatives of classified, certificated and administrative personnel from the school district, along with community residents.

"What the board is looking at is having representatives of the various groups that make up the district and representatives from a lot of different areas in the district," he said.

Goal is for the screening panel to offer up around eight candidates for the actual interviews from among the applicants. Following the interviews, Mantooth said it's hoped that panel will move about four through to a second round of interviews, this time with the school board.

Board members will also make site visits to the home schools of leading candidates as part of the selection process.

Escalon is working in cooperation with the San Joaquin County Office of Education on the search and Assistant County Superintendent Gary Dei Rossi is serving as liaison.

The first meeting in April for the school board has actually been rescheduled for March 30, as school is on spring break the first week of April. That way, the final candidate can be appointed at that meeting and start the transition process.

"It's probably going to be an existing administrator," Mantooth said, "who will have duties in their own home district."

Working around that schedule, allowing for three months of having both Mantooth and the new superintendent on board, will provide ample time for fitting in meetings with staff and all district personnel, whether they are in nighttime or weekend sessions, in addition to any daytime visits the new superintendent can fit in to the schedule.

"My goal is, by the time I leave, to have made that positive transition," Mantooth said.