Greendale Announces Superintendent Finalists

Two candidates have been selected as finalists for the Greendale School District superintendent job. The community is invited to meet them at events next week.

Correction: Incorrect information was supplied to Patch about finalist John Tharp's most recent job title. It has been corrected below. 

The Greendale Board of Education has selected two finalists to fill the open superintendent position  

Both candidates have doctorate degrees and prior experience as district administrators. The two candidates will visit the district next week to meet with school groups and the public. 

The “meet and greet” sessions will be held at the Library from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. One candidate will attend each session and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Board of Education.

Finalists are:

John Tharp most recently served as assistant superintendent of middle and high schools in Williamson County, TN. He received his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will visit Greendale on Monday.

Susan Borden has been serving as the district administrator in the Germantown School District since 2010. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in educational leadership and policy analysis. She will visit Greendale on Tuesday. 

“Input from staff, families and the community about the candidates is an important piece of this process,” said School Board President Joe Crapitto. “The Board plans to make a final decision shortly after the interview process is complete and it is our hope to have Greendale's next superintendent in place in September.”

Sharon U July 28, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Nah. How did Greendale end up with this choice?
Bren July 28, 2012 at 02:30 AM
No local candidates? That's too bad.
Mary. hand July 28, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Obviously the school board did not pay any attention to what the community wanted Mary H
Charles Munch July 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Greendale residents, check out the candidates and find out what they bring to district. Any real strong candidate will have a good record that can be done with a quick google search. One doesn't have a job now while the other hasn't done much in the school district they are in.
greengull July 28, 2012 at 04:26 PM
This is the best this board can do? Scary. They are in way over their heads and don't know it.
Mary D. July 28, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Clueless! I am very disappointed in our school board with these average to below average choices. Students and the community will suffer badly if this is the best that the board can do. I predict an exodus of families to Franklin in a year or two if this is what we end up with.
Bill Mack July 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Not impressed with Doctorate or Ph.D,s . Doesn't mean you know what the hell you are doing. Many that were very qualified were eliminated.
Sassybug July 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I don't understand why the board would pass up other candidates and not offer the community the opportunity to evaluate 3 candidates as they had originally indicted. It would appear they have made a decision and did not want to risk having the community support a potentially stronger candidate. I certainly plan to attend both sessions this week and share my disappointment.
Joellen Killien July 28, 2012 at 11:35 PM
What it looks like is a weak field of candidates and a board that wants to make a bad decision over admitting maybe they made mistakes along the way. Not having the third candidate is more evidence of making mistakes.
Ron Geimann July 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM
My bet is the third candidate didn't like what he saw in the board. I also think we are seeing why Dr. Hughes left ... because of this board. This slate of candidates is simply not good enough or right for Greendale. This board better wake up and fast!
Larry C July 29, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Looks like Ron G pretty much summarizes that the problem we have in Greendale is this board. This slate of candidates is not right for Greendale and the two remaining candidates need to reconsider if they want to work for them. I have it from one of the candidates that the board threw out at least one local candidate and one or two good superintendents who would be a better slate.
M.S. July 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I have been struggling to find info on the candidate from TN. Anyone have any leads? I am concerned that the guy leaves Williamson County Schools in TN, and they already hired his replacement, yet I can't find info on his departure. Looks like he was hired in late September 2010, so he was there maybe 2 school years? Why did he leave? There is a story there... What I've seen about the Germantown candidate is not impressive. I hope the Board realizes that they will be seen as a stronger Board if they go with an Interim superintendent for a year if neither of these two are up to snuff. But if we are pleasantly surprised by one of these two, great.
sunshinegirl July 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I hope they have a plan B... Interim person. This is not good enough for our kids and community.
sunshinegirl July 30, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Completely agree with all you've said. The Germantown candidate hasn't done anything spectacular for her district. We have enough people to fill in as interim for the year, or at least until a proper candidate can be found. And I don't think we've fairly considered any local candidates.
M.S. July 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Perhaps this is a bit harsh? We don't know why there isn't a 3rd candidate. It could be their choice, or a candidate backed out because they didn't want their current employer to know they were looking. And in my conversations with Board members, they seem to be intelligent, wiling to admit mistakes, and conscientious. Admittedly, the biggest decision of their term is this one. We can evaluate the decision when we have evidence to base it on..
Ron Burgundy July 31, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Lots of whiners out there. If you think you can do a better job, get in the ring. As far as no "local candidates", Bill Hughes wasn't a "local" candidate either. So stop your whining and criticism when you know nothing about the process. Go and talk to the candidates and listen to what they have to say before going off half cocked about neither of them being "up to snuff". How do you know what "up to snuff" is anyway?
Sassybug July 31, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Defensive much? Sounds to me like “Ron” has spent some time serving on the school board. Having seen candidate one last night, I am not impressed. I certainly hope this evening’s candidate is a pleasant surprise. And no, that is not a "half cocked" opinion, nor does it come from someone who "knows nothing about the process". This type of arrogance is exactly what we need to correct. This should be a collaborative community effort to determine what is best for the future of our schools, not a School Board who dictating to the community what is best for them, as evidenced by the opportunity to evaluate only 2 candidates, rather than the three the Board committed to. I sensed a very similar posture from John Thorp last night and have no interest in continuing down that path. I hope the board takes into account the desires that the community clearly outlined during the sessions to define the qualities a good candidate would have. It would appear that they did not.
M.S. August 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Lets not forget that the Board is made up of people with the same interests as us, and that we elected them to represent us and make decisions. They had each candidate meet with different groups of constituents from our school community. Then meet in an open community forum. And we don't know why there were only 2 finalists. You assume it was a subversive Board maneuver. How do you know that candidate #3 didn't withdraw because of the public nature of the process?
M.S. August 01, 2012 at 04:12 PM
In comparing the 2 candidates, Susan Borden definitely shows more of the relationship building and community values that would fit well with Greendale. Tharp seems to be competent, but too autocratic for a small district like ours. Let's hope the Board sees Borden's skills, and gives her a shot.
B.L. August 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The Greendale School Board has a lot of long term and dedicated members. They are trying to the best for the community. I am certain they have researched information on these candidates thoroughly and are doing their best to choose the most qualified person for the new superintendent position. They must be as dedicated to the community as everyone who has posted on this blog, as they have poured many hours of their lives into serving on the school board. We should trust them and support them in their efforts, even though some of the community may be disappointed that they did not choose another local candidate. The school board members know our district well, and I am confident they are trying to choose the best candidate with the information they have. We must remember that Greendale also hired an experienced consultant to help with the hiring process. Lets continue to work toward keeping Greendale's status as one of the premier school districts in Wisconsin, by supporting our school board in their efforts and being a united community. B.L.
Ron Burgundy August 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Well aren't we defensive. You've yet to describe what you consider to be "the desires that the community clearly outlined". What are those desires? Someone who is a lackey for individuals in the community. That the elected board members let the "community" make the choice for them? From all appearances, this has been an open and deliberate process starting from the consulting firm that was hired to conduct a search to the vetting process of reviewing the applicants and their respective experiences. Your process seems more like a mob rules process than an informed decision made by those who have all of the facts. You've given no specifics at all about what is so bad about the two candidates that are out there. Some of these comments from people are ludicrous, like "a subversive Board maneuver" and that Dr. Hughes left "because of this board." Lots of speculation. I know, recall the entire board! That's the ticket! People keep harping on "local" candidates not being considered. How do you know? Is someone on the board violating the confidentiality of the process. Do you even know what the process is? Do you know if confidentiality is required in the application process? Sounds like a lot of speculative griping by people who haven't had any experience in reviewing and deciding on applicants for such a position. I'm not a former, current or prospective board member or governmental official of any kind. Just someone with a vast amount of recruiting experience.


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