Friday, January 11, hundreds received an email from Waukee CSD. “It is with mixed emotions I announce my retirement from public education effective at the completion of the 2018-19 school year,” wrote Superintendent Cindi McDonald. She went on to thank “outstanding educators in Waukee and across the state of Iowa.” Monday, January 14, the Board met to approve the resignation. Reporter Katie Ogden spoke with Director of Communications Amy Varcoe on the subject of McDonald’s resignation.
What was the result of the vote on superintendent McDonald’s resignation last night?
6-0, as Mary Scheve was absent.
When does the search for a new superintendent begin?
Now, our Board leadership will be meeting later this week with state associations to start the process. Board leaders will be meeting with students, staff, and community members as well.
Will the search process be conducted internally, statewide, or nationwide?
The search will include all candidates, including those you mentioned.
What are the parameters of the search process?
The search criteria and parameters are still yet to be determined.
Will an outside firm be retained to conduct the search? If so, how much is that estimated to cost?
The initial meetings our board leadership is having will determine if an outside firm will be used, including the cost of using an outside firm, which is industry standard in hiring for superintendents.
What makes for a good superintendent?
A great superintendent has a clear vision for the district. He or she works with the board of education to set the vision, goals and objectives for the district, and then sees to it that the goals are achieved. A great superintendent is an instructional leader. A great superintendent is an effective communicator.
Is Cindi McDonald’s resignation tied to the state audit and subsequent criminal charges?
What is Cindi McDonald’s annual salary?
Does district office believe its reputation has been tarnished? If so, how does it plan on fixing this?
I hope you understand that the district office is filled with amazing staff, just like the rest of our buildings. I encourage you to meet the 40 plus staff members in our district office that help maintain the high level of education our students receive in Waukee Community School District. The public scrutiny Waukee CSD has been under has been a distraction for our entire district including, staff and students.
Over the next few months, Waukee Community School District will look at each of the findings included in the recent State Audit and share actions taken by the district to address the recommended control procedures. Many of these changes took place prior to the audit being released and others were already in progress.
To improve transparency and communication with our community, at the first Board meeting of each month, Angie Morrison, Chief Financial Officer, will provide a Spotlight on Finance that will include addressing the audit recommendations.
The first communication began last night at the first regular Board meeting of 2019. In the future, updates and documents will be found on our website prior to the meetings whenever possible. It is our goal to have all audit-related items specifically addressed by the Board in the next six months. Upon completion of the audit-related items, the Board and Administration will continue the Spotlight on Finance on a monthly basis sharing important information as it relates to the current budget year. Thank you for your support as we continue to move forward.
What are three reasons a potential candidate would want to take the superintendent’s job at Waukee?
This would be a question for the candidates themselves. I think each candidate would have their own reasons for taking this amazing opportunity.