After working through a period of uncertainty, members of the Sidney School Board approved the hiring of John Schultz as the school’s new junior/senior high school principal during their June 19 meeting, thus finalizing the school’s administrative team for the 2017-18 school year.
Schultz comes to Sidney after having served in the same capacity at Omaha Gross.
Sidney previously hired longtime special education teacher Shannon Wehling to be the Pre-K through sixth grade principal and Tim Hood to be the superintendent. Hood came to Sidney from the Keokuk School District.
Following Bill Huntington’s resignation as the junior/senior high school principal, the Sidney board sought a new leader and found one in Luke Cox.
But that hiring didn’t stick.
Cox asked for and was granted a release from his contract at Sidney to pursue an opportunity at Clarinda Academy.
Sidney began a new search, but this time they used a different method.
The school board had employed a search firm to find the replacement for Gregg Cruickshank, who had resigned as superintendent to pursue the same opportunity in Homer, Nebr.
Sidney School Board President Heidi Lowthorp said Gaylord Tryon and Associates impressed the Sidney school board during that superintendent search. And so board members were comfortable with using the same firm again to find a new junior/senior high school principal.
After having hired Cox away from Sidney, Clarinda Academy offered to pay for Sidney to use the search firm to find a new principal.
Lowthorp said the board members were disappointed that the contract with Cox didn’t work out, but she said Tryon’s search took pressure off the school.
Lowthorp said the search firm was efficient and did the foot work of collecting resumes and contacting references for candidates.
Hood said there ended up being 16 applicants for the principal job at Sidney with three getting interviews.
In the final analysis, Hood said the school is definitely happy with Schultz.
What stood out with this candidate?
Hood said Schultz’s curricular background of setting up a program at his former employer, Omaha Gross Catholic, was noteworthy, as was his five years of holding that administrative position at Gross.
The Sidney superintendent said he made a trip up to the Gross school and visited with everyone from students to teachers and administrators. All gave Schultz glowing reviews.
“I feel fortunate to get someone who is quality this late in the game,” Hood said.
The new principal was present for the June 19 board meeting and thus had the chance to meet people from the Sidney school district.
Lowthorp said the new principal will be a good fit for the district.
“I think he is going to work really well with the other administrators,” Lowthorp said.
Schultz will begin his duties in Sidney on July 1.