Park Hill Parents Not Happy About Search for New Superintendent

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Parents and concerned residents in the Park Hill School District gathered at district headquarters late Tuesday afternoon to protest the board's search for a new superintendent.

The board has reportedly narrowed its search to a final candidate to replace Dr. Dennis Fisher, who is retiring, and is meeting Tuesday to finalize its selection of Dr. Scott Springston from Wichita, Kan.

Some are concerned and upset because they believe the board is overlooking the current deputy superintendent, Dr. Mark Miles. Some protesters held up handmade signs, asking the board to "Slow Down" and "Listen". The parents say they found out about the final candidate on Friday through a post on the district's Facebook page.

On Tuesday, parents pleaded with the Park Hill School District's Board of Education members to postpone the vote on the district's next superintendent until they hear from them.

"When they boiled it down to six individuals, parents were not brought in to be a part of that," said parent Amy Heithoff. "When they narrowed it down to three, still parents were not brought in."

Parents say they don't know who the candidate, Dr. Scott Springston is. They also wonder why the current deputy superintendent Dr. Mark Miles was passed up. School board president Denise Schnell couldn't comment on that but says candidates asked for a private process.

"You can imagine, people have other jobs that they're employed in and they really don't want to signal to everybody in their community that they're looking elsewhere," said Denise Schnell, Park Hill Board of Education President.

Schnell says that was the same advice the consulting firm they hired recommended.

"Different firms do this different ways and this is the way this firm that we hired told us to do this," she said. "I am sorry that they're upset."

The board spent over three hours in a closed session on Tuesday. They ultimately decided 5-2 to offer Springston a contract. A spokesperson says if he accepts the job, he will start in July. In the meantime, the members of the PTA say they're thinking about issuing a vote of no confidence.

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