The search for the next superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools will be narrowed down to three candidates in the near future.
The interview process for these candidates began on Wednesday and will continue through May 9. The names of volunteer committee members, who have agreed to serve as confidential interview team members, were recognized by JPS' board of education at its April 9 meeting.
The committee is being headed by David O'Rourke, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES superintendent, and is comprised of more than 50 community members representing various stakeholder groups. One member representing JPS principals is Phil Cammarata, principal of Persell Middle School, who said the search process has been running smoothly.
"I was very impressed with Dr. O'Rourke and how he ran the meeting," said Cammarata. "He was very efficient, and went through the things that we could and couldn't say during an interview. So we have our questions (prepared), and we know what we're doing and it couldn't have been any more clear."
He added: "I think it's really important to throw some important questions out to (the candidates) because usually it's for a long time that you have that leader, and you always want to make sure we're getting the very best. I'm just really excited about the process, and excited to see who's going to step up and be the next leader of our great school district."
Another member of the committee is Kristy Zabrodksy, president of the Gebbie Foundation board of directors.
"I was invited to participate on the committee through my affiliation with a local foundation board. In addition, as a Jamestown resident, JPS alumni and a parent in the district, I have a vested interest in finding a successful candidate," said Zabrodsky. "The superintendent of JPS has a significant role in the community. The superintendent sets the agenda for public education in Jamestown, and the budget for delivering that education; as well as maintaining a vision for the needs of the community."
"Participating on the committee provides an opportunity to have input in selecting the candidate that will best fill that role," Zabrodsky continued.
The stakeholder groups represented by the search committee members include JPS central administrators, community members and parents, faculty, principals and coordinators, students and support staff.
Representing the central administrators are: Jessie Joy, Julie Poppleton, Tina Sandstrom and Dale Weatherlow.
Representing community members and parents are: Eva Andolora, Annette Bittorf, Tara Eastman, Lori Fiddmont, Judith Guild, Rosary Kolivas, Jeff Kroon, Jim McElrath, Beth Oakes, Patty Rizzo, Harry Snellings, Michele Waterman, Kristy Zabrodsky and Erika Zieliniski.
Representing the faculty are: Ardy Baldwin, Candice Callen, Daryl Damcott, Tara Hall, Gina Hess, Marc Lentsch, Chris Reilly, Rhonda Ricker, Stephanie Sardi, Roslyn Sisley, Terry Smith and Allen Thomas.
Representing the principals and coordinators are: Phil Cammarata, David Currie, Maria DeJoy, Ben Drake, Liz Feinen, Renee Hartling, Mike McElrath, Tamu Reinhardt and Janice Walters.
The student population will be represented by: Shelby Adams, Andrew Caldwell, Josh Colwell, Kirstie Hanson, Alex Harvey, Ben Larson, Mitch Liuzzo, Marquis McBride, Kellie Rodriguez and Julie Morano.
Support staff will include Diana Johnson, Chuck Marzec, Wendy Ohnmeiss and Beth Wilfong.
The search committee will convene in executive session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.