Riverton High School (photo by Carl Cote)

By Sarah Elmquist Squires

Lander isn’t the only district on the hunt for a new top executive. Following the announcement of longtime Riverton educator and current superintendent Dr. JoAnne Andre-Flanagan’s upcoming retirement, Riverton School Board members met during a special meeting last Friday to discuss the process for her replacement. 

Flanagan will depart from the district in which she was both a student and administrator this summer on June 30, a typical time for top education administrators to pass on the torch to their successor. Because those transitions usually take place in the summer months, the season of head hunting for superintendents is now. According to Brian Farmer of the Wyoming School Boards Association (WSBA), who assists districts as a consultant in such search processes, Lander was the first district in Wyoming to get the word out on its superintendent opening. Riverton is on its heels. 

The competition for qualified candidates isn’t just among neighboring districts, but nation-wide, as new superintendent postings pop up every day with fewer candidates vying for the spots in recent years. 

Because the Riverton district is a member of WSBA, it can secure the organization as a search firm for $6,500, which it voted unanimously to do during the special meeting. Lander is also using WSBA in its search process, which involves helping to recruit a candidate pool, assisting the board with narrowing the field to a slate of finalists, and a multi-day interview process that includes finalists answering questions before various stakeholder panels. 

Lander is in the fast lane, with its job posting already up and expected to close later this month. The Lander board is expected to review applications and select finalists at a special meeting on February 2, with interviews to be held shortly thereafter.