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District 46 to hire superintendent

PRAIRIE GROVE – District 46 is set to hire a new superintendent.

The School District 46 Board plans to vote on the new top administrator’s contract at a special meeting Monday afternoon.

The name of the new superintendent and the terms of the contract won’t be released until after the vote, school board President Margaret Ponga said, adding she was extremely impressed with all the candidates interviewed.

Two candidates were interviewed after a pool of five candidates had been narrowed down in first-round interviews, she said.

The board decided to go with a confidential hiring process, which is designed to encourage currently employed candidates to apply, said Jill Hawk, a retired District 155 superintendent and an associate with School Exec Connect, at a board meeting.

The district hired School Exec Connect earlier this year after its current superintendent, Lynette Zimmer, announced her resignation despite having another year on her contract.

“A superintendent must be confident that he or she has the authority to make daily decisions to operate the district effectively,” Zimmer wrote in an email to board members. “Because of Prairie Grove’s new board president, I no longer have that confidence. Since taking office, Mrs. Ponga has created turmoil and controversy in what was once an award-winning district.”

Zimmer hasn’t been the only administrator to resign.

The only administrator set to continue next school year that has been at the district longer than a year is Principal Vic Wight.

The board also is set to approve a two-year extension of Wight’s contract at the Monday board meeting. Wight is in the second year of a three-year contract.

Also on the agenda is a contract for Assistant Principal Martha Maggiore, who was hired last year on a one-year contract.

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