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School Board Hires Search Firm to Find New State Superintendent


The committee tasked with finding a new state school superintendent has hired a private search firm to seek out potential candidates. Salt Lake City-based SEARCH Group Partners will work alongside the committee to help recruit applicants and sift through resumes.

The next Utah superintendent of public instruction will replace Martell Menlove, who announced earlier this year he is retiring after less than two years on the job. The selection committee, which is made up of a handful of state school board members is already accepting applications. But the newly-hired search firm will begin a parallel search this week. Jefferson Moss is chair of that committee. He says SEARCH Group Partners will be able to reach into the far corners of the applicant pool.

“There might be some great potential candidates out there that normally would not be looking at a job posting,” Moss says. “Maybe there’s candidates even in the state that this is maybe not their typical career path. But they might be really good candidates in other ways. This just gives us more options to pick from.”

In recent memory, it is the first time the Utah State Board of Education has sought help from an external search firm to hire a new superintendent. The move is partially in response to complaints from some Republican state lawmakers that the last superintendent search was rushed.

Connie Spyropoulos-Linardakis is leading the search for the firm.

“So after tomorrow, we’ll be launching the search officially,” Spyropoulos-Linardakis says. “And launching it basically means we’ll take the next two weeks to research the candidates that we’re approaching. We’re doing a national search on this role and that will include similar incumbents of this role in various states.”

The firm has 60 days from Wednesday to narrow down six candidates based on the board’s criteria. The board, however will leave the position open until filled. Menlove says he’ll remain on the job through the transition.

It’s unclear how much the state is paying for the services. Officials estimate it’s between $30,000 and $50,000.  

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