Moon will shine over Bow another year

It became official Jan. 27, 2011 - Dr. Virginia Moon will serve as Broken Bow’s Superintendent of Schools another year. In November, the Broken Bow Board of Education approved an agreement with the Nebraska Association of School Boards to facilitate a superintendent search process for a position that would begin July 1, 2011. The superintendent position is currently filled by interim superintendent, Dr. Moon, whose contract ends June 30, 2011. According to a press release issued by the Broke Bow school board, the NASB search service provides guidance in the development of the search schedule, interview questions, review of the superintendent contract and salary/benefit data. As part of the search process, the Broken Bow Board of Education identified desired leadership qualities in four areas: vision and planning leadership, curriculum and instruction leadership, communications leadership and budget planning and management. Interested applicants submitted applications and supporting documentation to the NASB for consideration. Each application is screened by a trained Field Consultant to validate their work history, credentials, qualifications and tenure as an educator. Through the screening process, each applicant is subjected to a battery of education screening criteria and their qualifications are compared with the board’s desired leadership qualities. The board met with NASB consultants during a special board meeting Jan. 20 to review all completed applicants and the board’s desired leadership qualities for the Broken Bow superintendent position. Following that meeting, the board’s personnel committee recommended offering a new contract to the current interim superintendent, Dr. Moon, for the period of July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, at a salary of $120,000 plus benefits. “This was an extremely competitive year, with so many retiring superintendents across the state,” Dr. Moon says. “My decision to stay allows the board another year to continue the search and assures them that they can be confident in their selection of a long-term superintendent. “I believe this is the right decision at this point for me, the board and the community.” In her year as interim superintendent, Dr. Moon has already faced a number of challenges - including a school bond election and school board election. However, she foresees a whole different set of challenges facing the district in the coming year. “I do think we have some challenges facing us that I think I can help with,” she explains. “This is going to be a difficult budget year, and I have some experience dealing with difficult budgets! “I think facilities are our biggest issue though,” continues Dr. Moon. “Our challenge is to determine what the community wants for their students, and then get that done.” While she is committed to devoting herself to students, staff and community members of the Broken Bow school district, Dr. Moon still has a home in Omaha and responsibilities there. Those include a business interest, and most importantly, grandchildren. She says the board had that understanding when agreeing to a second year. Dr. Moon says she feels the final big challenge for the next year is to do a final strategic plan for the district. “We may operate on a shorter term, say 3-5-year plan, so that the new superintendent can have some input into the long-term plan,” Dr. Moon says. She says developing such a strategic plan will be made easier by the fact that she has a good team to work with. “We have a strong, committed staff in our schools, and excellent leadership at the building level. “I think we have a lot of strengths in terms of a community - a strong economic base, and a strong history of success.” While Dr. Moon says her background is primarily in human resources, she explains that she has also had a great deal of experience with budgets. “You don’t work in human resources without a good understanding of where the money is coming from and how best to spend it,” she laughs. Dr. Moon admits that her human resources background does come in handy in the superintendent position. “A big part of the superintendent’s job is creating that comfort and confidence, by explaining our mission and budget,” says Dr. Moon. “And to help the community know that the school understands its responsibilities to prepare students for the world, in a safe environment, and do that in a fiscally responsible way. “I’m very excited about the next year and being able to see some of the things we started come to fruition.”