Trustees name lone finalist for superintendent

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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After calling off a national search for a new superintendent last month, the Mansfield school board wasted no time naming the interim superintendent as its lone finalist for the position.

Trustees voted 6-0 at Tuesday night’s board meeting to name Jim Vaszauskas, 56, as their sole candidate. Vaszauskas, who joined the district as associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction since May 2009, has served as the interim chief since Feb. 5 after the departure of Bob Morrison for the Garland school district.

Vaszauskas said he was “cautiously optimistic” that he would be named the only candidate for the position.

“Last month caught me more by surprise when they opened it to internal candidates only,” he said. “I didn’t see that coming.”

After Morrison’s departure, the board hired Cambridge Strategic Services to conduct a survey to determine what teachers, parents and the community were looking for in a new superintendent. The results were overwhelmingly positive. After hearing the results at their May meeting, trustees adjourned to closed session to discuss the nine search firms they were considering. When they returned, the board voted to look at internal candidates only.

“People are very happy generally with the direction of the district,” board president Beth Light said. “We just need to make some changes in the implementation of some of the programs. In education when you don’t have a superintendent, people are uncomfortable because you don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a more comforting feeling for the employees (to have a superintendent).

“I’ve never heard anything bad about Dr. V,” she said. “People really like him.”

Vaszauskas was the only internal candidate to apply, said Karen Wentworth, the district’s associate superintendent of human resources. By Texas law, the school board has to wait 21 days before it can officially offer Vaszauskas a contract.

Vaszauskas said his top two priorities are to name area superintendent Darrell Sneed to fill his previous position as associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction, which he has done on an interim basis for the past four months, and to name Karen Weisman as associate superintendent of business and finance.

Being a superintendent was not the reason Vaszauskas got into education.

“I spent 20 years in the classroom and moved into administration later in my life,” he said. “Timing is a real important piece of that.

“I feel like I’m right where I need to be in Mansfield,” Vaszauskas said. “I’m proud to have been chosen and I promise to be a good steward of the position.”

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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