Updated: McDermott a finalist for Creston superintendent job
Newton superintendent grew up in nearby Greenfield
Creston's town slogan is "Back to Home." And for one Newton Community School District official who grew up just down the road from there, that may become a true statement by the end of the week.
According to a published report Tuesday in the Creston News Advertiser, Newton superintendent Steve McDermott is one of two finalists for the same job with the Creston Community School District. Creston, located approximately 80 miles east of Omaha in Southwest Iowa, is roughly half the size of Newton.
McDermott said he learned he was finalist for the job Monday night following the Newton School Board meeting that evening. He then communicated the situation to the board members late that evening. He said he was pursuing an opportunity in Southwest Iowa for personal reasons.
"My experiences appear to make me a good match for the position in Creston," he said. "I have personal, family-related reasons for pursuing relocation in southwest Iowa."
Creston features three public schools — an elementary, a middle school and a high school — as well as two K-8 parochial schools: St. Malachy School and Mayflower Heritage Christian Academy. It also is home to Southwestern Community College and a Buena Vista University satellite campus.
McDermott grew up in nearby Greenfield, and served in the Nodaway Valley Community School District there as a principal and superintendent for 8 years. He has been superintendent of Newton schools for 11 years.
"I truly appreciate and enjoy my work here and our community," he said. "As a whole school district and community working together, we have accomplished a lot in the spirit of improved learning for our local youngsters. Those efforts will continue because of the strength of the overall team regardless of what person serves in the superintendent's role."
The other finalist for the position is current Creston Elementary School principal Brad Baker, who was scheduled to interview for the position Wednesday. McDermott is scheduled to interview for the position Thursday.
Both will undergo a full day of interviews with four different focus groups: one made up of administrators, one made up of support staff, one made up of teachers and one made up of parents and members of the community. After interviews with the focus groups, the candidates will meet with members of the Creston School Board.
In accordance with Iowa Code, all interviews are closed to the public.
The News Advertiser report stated a hiring decision will likely be made public later this week or early next week. According to sources in Creston, the job could be offered to one of the candidates as early as Friday. But, until more actually happens, McDermott said, "Newton remains my home."
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