Four to compete for Kyrene’s top job


Four candidates have been selected to interview for the job of superintendent of the Kyrene School District, succeeding Dr. David Schauer, who departed the post unexpectedly three months ahead of his planned June 30 retirement.

According to an announcement from the district Governing Board, the candidates include:

Dr. M. Susan DePrez, Assistant Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools;

Dr. Lori Shough, Assistant Superintendent, Maricopa County Education Service Agency, Phoenix;

Dr. Darwin Stiffler, Superintendent, Yuma Elementary School District; and

Dr. Jeanette Vesely, Deputy/Assistant Superintendent, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson.

Dr. Mark Knight, currently the district’s assistant superintendent, will serve in an interim capacity until a final selection is made.

Interviews are scheduled the week of March 28. Groups and individuals will have an opportunity to meet the final candidates and submit input to the board about each of them.

Kyrene Elementary School District Governing Board retained the services of McPherson & Jacobson L.L.C. to assist in conducting its search.

According to the board’s statement, the consultants reviewed, screened and conducted extensive background checks on 31 applicants. On March 1, the consultants presented the applicants to the Governing Board and provided detailed background information on each applicant.

The board selected eight candidates as semi-finalists, each of whom submitted a video answering three questions for the Board to review. Based on those taped interviews, the Board chose four applicants for a final round of interviews.

After the district’s top position has been filled, according to the board’s statement, the consultants will hold a board/superintendent workshop to help set performance objectives for the new district chief.

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  1. This report makes it sound like Dr. Schauer, the current Superintendent left the district without fulfilling his duties. That is wrong. From the letters I’ve seen from the School Board and Dr. Schauer, he would have gladly continued to do the work as Superintendent through his contracted ending date of June 30. However, the school board instructed him to take his vacation days starting in Mid-March. Dr. Schauer has served the students, families and the whole Kyrene Community with dedication, intelligence, and compassion. No Superintendent can meet all the needs of all the people all the time. Dr. Schauer did an exemplary job.
    The accomplishments of the schools during his 10-years leading the district have been tremendous. He came into the district when morale was the worst I’ve witnessed in 19 years, and he turned it around.
    I wish Dr. Schauer a well-deserved, wonderful retirement.
    I look forward to the new superintendent, and I thank the school board members for their work in making the selection.

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