Executive Director Hiring Process Update; Meet the Candidates Event Friday

ED Top Three Candidates Image

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

We know our entire community has been anxiously waiting for the next update in our Executive Director search process and we are excited to share the following news.

We want to first start by saying a great big Thank You to all of our stakeholder groups who took part in the first and second rounds of interviews. We asked a lot of our stakeholder groups, ranging from time commitment to complete integrity throughout the process, and they delivered with professionalism and poise.

“I first want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that our three-person hiring team committed to this process,” said Dr. Penny Eucker, STEM School Highlands Ranch Executive Director. “As I transition into my new role of CEO of KOSON Schools this summer, I want to ensure that our flagship campus is in solid and secure hands to ensure that we stay on mission, that our students and staff are cared for, and that our community has trust and confidence in our school.

We had so many highly-qualified candidates apply and go through the process and I’m excited that we are at this stage and that our community has the opportunity to meet and ask questions of these outstanding candidates. We are an exceptional school and I know that we will choose an exceptional leader to work with me and our highly-talented Leadership Team.”

Community “Meet the Candidates” Event:
As we move into the final phase of data collection, we want to invite our community to our “Meet the Candidates” event this Friday, April 1 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Elementary School Gymnasium.

Our top three candidates will begin with opening remarks introducing themselves to our community, and then we will open the floor to our community for questions. At the conclusion of the Q&A a feedback form will be sent to those in attendance to then provide their top candidate choice that will be compiled with the data from the first and second rounds, and then presented to Dr. Eucker and the select members of the STEM Board of Directors that have been taking part in the process.

Our Top Three Candidates (in alphabetical order):

Ryan Alsup

  • Serves as STEM School Highlands Ranch High School Director as well as Athletics Director; has been at STEM since July of 2020.
  • Prior to STEM, Mr. Alsup serves as the Assistant Principal at Thomas Doherty High School, Principal at Evergreen High School, Principal at Juneau-Douglas High School (Alaska), Athletics Director at Evergreen High School, Assistant Principal at Evergreen High School, Assistant Principal at Ponderosa High School and Administrative Dean at Douglas County High School.
  • Mr. Alsup was also a Social Studies Teacher at Highlands Ranch High School
  • He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (1998) and an M.A. in Education and Administration from University of Phoenix (2004)

LynAnn Kovalesky

  • Serves as STEM School Highlands Ranch Elementary School Director, lead on the Strategic Plan goal of Building Parent Trust; has been at STEM since Spring of 2019.
  • Prior to STEM, serves as Associate Principal at Marana Unified School District (Arizona), Child Advocate at DeGrazia Elementary School (Arizona) and Leadership Team Member at DeGrazia Elementary School (Arizona)
  • Ms. Kovalseky was also a Teacher at DeGrazia Elementary School (Arizona).
  • She holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Arizona (2004) and an M. Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University (2012)

Dr. Leanne Weyman

  • Serves as Regional Vice President of ACCEL Schools and Core Faculty at American College of Education.
  • Prior experience includes K-12 Director of STEM School Highlands Ranch, Middle School Principal at STEM School Highlands Ranch, Assistant Principal at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
  • Dr. Weyman was also a Teacher at Sebastian River Middle School (Florida), Bald Eagle Area, Jr./Sr. High School (Pennsylvania) and American Academy Charter School (Colorado).
  • She received her Doctorate of Education (2019) from William Howard Taft University.

Additional Information about the entire ED Hiring Process:

We know that there has been and will be a lot of discussion around this process due to the importance of this position, so we want to provide our community with transparency about the process and what has occurred. Our goal in sharing this information is to show the thought, inclusivity, care, and professionalism that went into each step.

How it started:

  • The ED position was posted online (February 16) on all major job sites and applications were collected over a three-week period. The application deadline was Friday, March 11.
  • Over 50 applications were received, with 16 being screened over the phone as viable candidates.
  • From those 16 applicants, 10 were identified as candidates to take part in our first round with our stakeholder groups.
  • An all-call was made to our parent community, our student-leadership groups, and our staff to collect interested members to take part in the first round.
  • Once stakeholders were identified, they completed an interview training session where they were presented with the logistics of how the opening round would work, what the expectations of the ED position were based on the job description, and sample questions that each stakeholder group could ask.
  • On Monday, March 21 we held the first round of interviews and had nine candidates take part. (three via Zoom and six in-person). Feedback was collected from each group and from there, and the top-five candidates who received the most votes were moved forward to the second round.
  • On Thursday, March 24, the top-five candidates met in 30-minute interview sessions with members of the Leadership Team, and on Monday, March 28, four candidates (one dropped out) met with members of the Administration Team and Dr. Eucker for additional questions. Feedback was collected from both of these groups as well.
  • On Tuesday, March 29, the Hiring Team presented Dr. Eucker with the compiled data and it was determined that a top candidate emerged. The decision was made to begin discussions with the candidate about a potential offer for employment as our next Executive Director.
  • On Wednesday, March 30, the candidate met with Dr. Eucker via phone and indicated they were going to withdraw from consideration for the position due to family matters. The team met again, reviewed all the data points and determined that we would move forward with the already scheduled Meet ‘n Greet on Friday, April 1, but change the format slightly. Since the data points for the remaining three candidates were very close, the team determined to allow for community feedback during Friday’s event so that we were allowing an additional opportunity for our entire community’s voice to be heard.

We know this is a lot of information, but we hope that this provides our community with confidence that the process has remained professional, inclusive, and with integrity.

Thank you,
Your hiring team (Christina Wu, Maura Ridder and Karen Johnson)

Comments are closed.