Haines resident Lenise Fontenot owns consulting firm Professional Development Company. The Haines school district will pay her to facilitate interviews and help rank candidates for superintendent.

Board President Palmieri said her professional experience and local status made her a good fit.

“She has a lot of experience with interview questions — and looking at what qualities we’re looking for, and making sure that the interview questions look back to reflect the information that we’re seeking,” Palmieri said.

The board also approved Patti Carlson to check references and do site visits: she’ll travel to candidate’s home communities to gather background information on the search committee’s top choices.

“She has generously offered to volunteer her time. She was the director of human resources at the Juneau School District for 14 years,” Palmieri said.

Carlson is uniquely familiar with Haines’ struggle to keep a superintendent: her husband is currently filling the position in an interim capacity for the second time.

The district won’t pay Carlson, but will reimburse her travel expenses.

Trying new strategies for hiring and getting professional help are very intentional approaches. 2018 will mark the third superintendent hire, not including Rich Carlson, in five years.  The board is committed to finding a good fit, and appreciate the public’s input.

“All this expertise we’re getting, and all this help — it’s truly a community event,” Palmieri said.

The job was posted on November 17th. Superintendent Carlson reported one application had already been submitted and perceived interest was rising.

“Just in the last couple of days we’ve been getting more and more calls,” he said.

The application period closes January 15th. After that, applications and candidates will be open to the public to read.