School district picks 3 finalists for lead job

Superintendent candidates to be in Durango next week

The Durango school board has selected three finalists for the superintendent position.

Daniel Snowberger, an assistant superintendent in a Colorado Springs school district; Jody Mimmack, executive director of instructional support in a Grand Junction school district; and Shannon Goodsell, superintendent of a northeastern Oklahoma school district, are the board’s top picks out of a pool of 25 candidates.

The board plans to interview the finalists over three days next week. The schedules have yet to be determined. There will be two community forums scheduled in each interview day to allow the public to meet the candidates.

Snowberger is an assistant superintendent at Harrison School District in southern Colorado Springs. He began as director of learning services with the district in 2007 and during his time there has seen $12 million in budget cuts and the implementation of the most rigorous pay-for-performance plan in the nation. Snowberger also has been a chief academic officer in California, director of instructional support services and principal in Douglas County and an elementary school teacher in Florida.

Mimmack has been the chief academic officer and executive director of instructional support at Mesa County Valley School District No. 51 since July 2011. She has worked in Grand Junction-area schools as a district administrator, principal and assistant principal since 2000 and has been an adjunct professor at Colorado Mesa University since 2006. She started her career as a special-education teacher in Denver Public Schools and worked as a principal in Montana before returning to Colorado. She oversaw the reorganization of the Office of Instructional Support in Mesa County and has led changes from teaching-centered models to learner-centered models.

Goodsell is the superintendent of Tahlequah Public Schools, a 3,500-student district in northeastern Oklahoma. He has been a superintendent in three Oklahoma school districts over 12 years and has been at the helm when the districts approved several bond issuances including a $30 million building and transportation bond. While superintendent of Crooked Oak Public Schools in Oklahoma City, the district rose off the state’s school improvement list. Goodsell also has been a high school principal, teacher and coach in Oklahoma schools.

Board members Jeff Schell and Andy Burns said they were satisfied with the pool of candidates they received, even though the search firm neglected to advertise on the job search page of two key organizations, the Colorado Association of School Boards and the Colorado Association of School Executives.

“We’re hopeful the next superintendent will be here next week,” Schell said.

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