Former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge is one of three finalists to fill executive director’s position at the Iowa Association of School Boards.
The I.A.S.B.’s previous executive director, Maxine Kilcrease, was fired about one year ago after reports surfaced she had raised her own salary by $150,000 after three months on the job. Other spending by the organization was also questioned.
I.A.S.B. board president, Russ Wiesley says Judge is a finalist along with Southeast Polk Superintendent Thomas Downs, and Cedar Falls Superindent David Stoakes. Wiesley says they decided to interview judge, even though she does not have an education background.
Wiesley says some of the organization’s members asked the board to “think out of the box” in hiring a new director and he says Judge “applied and she gave some very good answers, and we thought she deserved a second trip back. Wiesley says Judge admitted that she did not have a lot of knowledge about the business side of I.A.S.B., but did know how to run a large organization and “had a good management style.”
Judge, a Democrat, was a state legislator and state Agriculture Secretary before serving one term as Lieutenant Governor. Wiesley says the board does not have any concerns about her political ties. He says they have a couple members who are “very on the Republican side” and he says they did not think it would be a problem.
Wiesley says Judge worked closely with Republicans as Secretary of Agriculture to benefit farmers, and he says they believe she would do the same for education if she happens to be the final choice. Wiesley says the board knows it is under the spotlight in making this choice after what happened with the former director.
“We certainly want to get the right person, that’s for sure,” Wiseley says, “but we are going to do a lot more background checks and call a lot more people this time around that we did last time, and I think that will help solidify the choice.” Wiesley says the board interviewed six candidates Saturday out of 30 who applied.
The hope to make the final selection this weekend. He says they will interview all three candidates Saturday and then vote on a final choice. Wiesley says they will likely released the name of the person chosen on Monday. He says the two superintendents have contracts that run through July first, so they would not be able to start until then.
See more about the troubles at I.A.S.B. in these Radio Iowa stories: