ACSU candidates pull out; board to mull next steps

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union’s search for a new superintendent will continue after a third bid to locate a top executive failed to woo a finalist on Friday, Dec. 21.
District officials confirmed late Friday afternoon that both finalists — Burlington School District Superintendent Jeanne Collins and John W. Johnson, an executive with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction — withdrew their names from consideration, citing personal reasons.
This means the ACSU board will need to regroup and decide its next move in its quest for a new superintendent to preside over public schools in Middlebury, Shoreham, Salisbury, Ripton, Bridport, Weybridge and Cornwall.
“While we are disappointed, we understand the challenges our large district presents and the challenges on one’s family in making a major life change,” said ACSU board member Peter Conlon, who chaired a committee that advanced the two finalists who interviewed for the job on Dec. 19.
“We will take this up at our next board meeting.”
District officials acknowledged the board’s difficulty in recruiting a candidate to take over for current Superintendent Gail Conley is at least partially linked to the size of the ACSU and its governance structure that demands a lot of evening meetings. The ACSU is governed by a combined total of nine boards made up of more than 50 citizen members. Collins, during her public interview, acknowledged her concern about the prospect of many evening meetings requiring a lengthy commute from her Shelburne home.
Conley, who came out of retirement during the summer of 2011 to serve the ACSU, has agreed to continue as superintendent until July 1.

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