Brookfield Board of Education on May 22 announced that it will reconsider Brookfield Middle School Principal Toby Gibson and Brookfield High School Principal Adam Lewis for the superintendent’s position.
The move follows an announcement a day earlier that it was unable to reach a unanimous choice for superintendent and would not hire a new leader for the district on May 22 as it had planned to do.
The board met in executive session following its public board meeting May 22 to try to hammer out a process for what it would ask of the candidates and when it would meet with them, said board President Ronda Bonekovic.
The board had granted second interviews to two candidates – neither Gibson nor Lewis was among them – and deadlocked on them.
Public support for Gibson, who was one of four finalists interviewed, included a public rally and a petition drive that netted more than 600 signatures.
“The people kind of spoke; they wanted an inside person,” Bonekovic said.
Both men are inexperienced in that they have never been superintendents before, she said. Gibson has his superintendent certificate, while Lewis is pursuing his, Bonekovic said.
Board member Ron Brennan read this statement from the board:
“Dear members of the community,
“I would like to take this time to read a statement by the board on our recent superintendent search.
“After a somewhat exhaustive and lengthy search with 26 candidates applying and narrowing that down to four who were interviewed, and two who did presentations to the board, a candidate acceptable to the entire board that the board felt would fit well into the community could not be found. We have therefore decided to open up the interview process to two well-respected, in-house candidates to consider for the next superintendent of the Brookfield Local School District.
“This has been a difficult process, and we have valued the peaceful support for the candidates and the process by the community at large. While information about the executive session matters and interviews cannot be discussed publicly, and sometimes leads to rumors and stress from the uncertainty, we trust that the citizens will have faith in their elected board members to make the correct, but difficult, decision about the next superintendent of the Brookfield Local School District.
Bonekovic said the superintendent search has been “the most stress.”
“It’s difficult,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how difficult it is for us. They think it’s just such an easy decision. You have to weigh everything all the way around.”
Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor has resigned to take the top job at Lakeview schools in Cortland. Her last day is July 31.
In the photo, Toby Gibson is on the left and Adam Lewis on the right.