SANDY — The freshly formed east-side board for Jordan School District is looking for a superman — or superwoman.

The board, which includes four incumbent members from the original Jordan board, along with three newly elected board members, spent hours Monday discussing the hiring of a superintendent for the new east district.

"They must be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound," joked new board member Monte Millerberg, after the board finished brainstorming a lengthy list of desired characteristics.

Board members said the superintendent, to be chosen from the candidate list of nine men and three women, must be a good communicator, have human resource skills, be politically savvy, have vision, connect with the community as well as the school board and educators, boost teacher morale — and be charismatic, adaptable, respectful, trustworthy, sensitive, creative, moral and ethical.

"It's a tall order," said original board member Tracy Cowdell. "But if we don't do a good job on this we will have a lot of trouble. That person is going to be integral to making it all work."

Members of the east Jordan District education transition team facilitated discussions during the noon meeting at Sandy City Hall on Monday. Part of the meeting was a closed session to discuss specific candidates, whose names are not public, although the top finalists will be public so there can be community input.

John Bennion, chairman of the east Jordan District transition, assured the group that all 12 candidates have an education background. Other experience desired for the superintendent was a business background and team building.

"This is going to take a different type of individual," said new board member Paul McCarty.

None of the 12 candidates are from the original Jordan District, although board members said they encouraged some to apply. Board members will be making site visits to interview those who know the applicants.

The new east superintendent will to be paid between $180,000 and $195,000 annually.

If all goes well, the board aims to announce the new superintendent during its Aug. 19 meeting, and it is hoped the new leader would begin by Sept. 1. More district plans will be discussed at a board retreat July 11 and 12.

During the board's first meeting, July 15, board members will vote on a chairman and vice chairman.

The board will be appointing a business manager soon. The superintendent is expected to recommend a public information officer and human resources official for the board's approval.

The board itself is an array of personalities and backgrounds. Some have spouses and other relatives who are or have been teachers. Several board members have public education backgrounds. Other professions represented by board members include attorney, accountant, realtor, and psychology professor.

"We've been looking forward to this day," Bennion said. "You folks now can become a decision-making group. There are lots of big challenges ahead."

Sandra Petersen, member of the east Jordan district education transition team, agreed saying, "This is not for the faint-hearted."


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