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Three firms competing to lead search for new school superintendent

With the community still in shock over the sudden resignation of long-time superintendent Steve McDermott, Mondays school board meeting will be very crucial. Although there is still a full agenda, the focus of the meeting will undoubtedly be on the presentation by three firms on why they should be selected to help find the districts new superintendent.

The three companies that will make presentations are Ray and Associates, Inc., Gaylord Tryon Associates and Major Consulting Group..

Ray and Associates, Inc. is based out of Cedar Rapids. According to their website:

“Ray and Associates, Inc. specializes in educational executive leadership searches. We recruit traditional and non-traditional candidates for public schools, private schools and higher education institutions/organizations.”

One of its most recent clients has been the Racine Unified School District. The district in Racine, Wis., has 35 schools and a student enrollment of 21,000. They were selected to lead the search last May, and as of Feb. 19 of this year, the district was holding public forums with all of the finalist for their superintendent job. They were selected from a group of seven firms. They are also leading the search for the superintendent of the Kansas City, Mo., School District; Portland, Ore., School District; and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

Gaylord Tryon and Associates are based out of Johnston. According to its website:

“G. Tryon and Associates is a professional firm providing general consulting services to K-12 school districts and area education agencies throughout Iowa. Our firm specializes in finding excellence in educational leadership — including school superintendents, central office and building level administrators.

“G. Tryon and Associates is a student-centered, client-focused and results-oriented search firm. We will work personally with the board of education, students, staff, parents, and community to find the best educational leader possible. We guarantee the search will be conducted in a thorough and professional manner and with the utmost integrity and confidentiality.”

If selected, Gaylord Tryon, the president of the firm, will be directly involved with every step of the search process. The process will be custom-designed to meet the needs of the school district.

Its client list is extensive and includes some of the following districts in their search for a superintendent:

• Ames Community School District

• Ankeny Community School District

• Fort Dodge Community School District

• Marion Independent School District

• Okoboji Community School District

The firm has also worked with the Newton school district in the past.

Major Consulting Group was unavailable for comment after multiple attempts to make contact. Glen Pelecky and Dave Barber of Major aided the Durant Community School District in their search for a superintendent last May.

The Board will select one of the three firms at the meeting. There will also be a closed session as the board conducts an expulsion hearing. The vote will be an open vote. They will also hold a vote on allowing DECA students to attend the DECA national conference in California.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Emerson Hough. As always, there will be an open forum for citizens to address the board.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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