The Neligh-Oakdale Board of Education is negotiating a contract with Bill Kuester to be the next superintendent of schools.
A verbal press release was issued through the school at the request of the Nebraska Association of School Boards, which is the firm hired by the board to facilitate the search, announced Kuester as the candidate being negotiated with.
The length of contract will determine if Kuester will be an interim superintendent or if it will be long term, according to Shari Becker, director of the NASB's Education Leadership Search Service.
Kuester, who serves on the ESU 8 Board of Directors, most recently was interim superintendent at Howells-Dodge. Kuester previously was superintendent of Nebraska Unified District #1 (Clearwater, Orchard and Verdigre) and Clearwater Public Schools.
Two candidates were interviewed Thursday at Neligh-Oakdale - Lee Sayer of Firth and Bill Kuester of Neligh - to replace Kimberly Lingenfelter, who resigned effective June 30, 2015. The Board of Education entered into executive session at 8:50 p.m. and exited at 9:40 p.m.
No discussion followed executive session. Krista Schindler immediately made a motion to allow board president David Wright "to enter into negotiations with the number one candidate." Ryan Koinzan seconded the motion, which was followed by a 6-0 roll call vote.
The "number one candidate" was not disclosed to the public until about 10:30 a.m. this morning. Watch video of the discussion by the board.
Kimberly Lingenfelter's resignation as superintendent was approved at the December board meeting with regrets, effective June 30, 2015. Lingenfelter's salary for 2014-15 is $115,000.
The special meeting began at 7 p.m. with both candidates interviewed separately. Sayer's interview was at 7 p.m. while Kuester's was at 8 p.m. The same questions were asked of both candidates by the same board members, but only one candidate was publicly asked if he had questions for board members.
Kuester was given the opportunity to publicly ask board members questions and did so for roughly 15 minutes. The board did not ask Sayer during his interview if he had questions for the board. Board members remembered that they should have done that and ran out of the room to find Sayer before he left Neligh.
Vice president Brad Higgins told the board during discussions after both interviews that Wright ran and caught up with Sayer and did ask if he wanted to return to the interview to ask the board questions publicly. Higgins said Sayer declined returning to the meeting. Wright did not comment about his discussion with Sayer.