Board of Education considers candidates outside of education in search for new superintendent

- SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC 4 Utah) – Current Superintendent for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Joel Coleman was appointed to fill in while a nationwide search to replace outgoing Superintendent, Martell Menlove continues.

The person who ends up with the job may have a much different resume than Menlove, who held several positions in public education.

"We are looking at any industry," said State School Board member, Jennifer A. Johnson.

In addition to education the board is considering candidates with a business, military or other background.

Johnson says the superintendent is surrounded by education specialists.

That's why she's open to someone who can provide a different perspective in managing a $4 billion budget, three different state agencies and 1100 employees.

"It's a very challenging role in order to be able to perform all those things and somebody who can manage and has experience managing an executive team is what we are looking for," said Johnson.

Parents have mixed opinions on extending the search outside of education.

"It's an executive type position, I think somebody from a different background may bring some new perspective and some efficiencies to run the programs and make it good for the kids in the schools,” said Bill Cox.

"I prefer to have someone who has been in the classroom, someone who understands the nuances of education more than the nuances of running a business. I think education needs to be more about the kids," said Julie Knight.

Johnson says it could very well end up being an educator, if that person rises to the top.

"We're just trying to look for the very best candidates and to have a large pool. When you have a large pool you can be much more selective," said Johnson.

A local search firm has been hired to produce six candidates.

The board is also accepting applications directly.

The hope is to present the search committee with 12 candidates in the next three to four weeks.

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