Assistant superintendent lone applicant for top District 51 post

School District 51 Assistant Superintendent Steve Schultz appears to be in line for a promotion.

District officials announced Thursday that Schultz is the lone applicant and finalist to replace outgoing Superintendent Tim Mills.

Mills is leaving after six years to assume the same position with the North Clackamas School District in Milwaukie, Ore.

The announcement comes three weeks after the District 51 Board of Education voted unanimously to seek Mills’ replacement from among current district employees. The opening was posted internally, and the deadline to apply was Wednesday, district spokesman Jeff Kirtland said.

“We have a pool of over 3,000 employees from which to seek applicants,” school board President Leslie Kiesler said. “We chose to start from that point.”

Schultz has been employed with District 51 for 27 years, including the past five as assistant superintendent. He said he didn’t expect to be the only applicant, and several people encouraged him to apply.

“I’m excited and honored to have the opportunity to interview for the job,” he said.

Schultz echoed a common district refrain in emphasizing student achievement is at the top of the list of his priorities.

“I’m willing to challenge the status quo, monitor student needs, identify what those needs are early and be responsive with support and intervention,” he said.

Kiesler called Schultz “highly qualified” and said she has seen resumes of superintendent applicants in other school districts who were “far less qualified” than Schultz.

“He’s got an extremely impressive resume and comes with a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of background in education,” she said.

Even with those qualifications, Kiesler said, “it’s not a given that Mr. Schultz will get (the job).

He’s going through the entire process.”

District officials are asking parents, teachers and community members to offer comments about the qualities they want in the next superintendent. They say they will consider those suggestions in the interview process.

Comments may be mailed to the District 51 Board of Education, P.O. Box 4668, Grand Junction 81502, or e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Comments must be received by 5 p.m. April 28.


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