Search begins for Horsey's replacement

Placer Union board looks inside and outside the district for new superintendent
By: Andrew Westrope, Staff Writer
-A +A


The clock is already ticking on the search for Placer Union High School District’s next superintendent, as Dave Horsey plans to retire in June.

The district’s board of trustees will meet with potential search teams in a special meeting on Thursday, and possibly hire one if it believes the best candidate would come from outside the district.

Board President Lynn MacDonald said a search team would conduct a “very thorough search” involving community input and a list of desired characteristics provided by the board, possibly working with the new superintendent to “get the person on board.”

“We need to determine what direction we want the district to go in and whether or not we have personnel that are qualified in the district right now. When we hired Horsey, he was ready to become superintendent, so we have to determine whether or not we have anybody in-house. If we have an in-house person, we won’t go out,” she said. “We have five different people deciding, not just one, and we’ll discuss it thoroughly and determine whether or not we want to do the search.”

MacDonald said most of the board members have a lot of hiring experience and all of them work well together, having gone on overnight trips out of town to interview people in a candidate’s community in the past.

Board Clerk Maureen Ward said a search team would work closely with the board and handle the application process, including placing ads and setting up channels of communication between applicants and the district. If the board does not hire a team, she said, it would need to work out that process itself. This would not happen until after Thursday.

“We need to get this done, and it’s a long process. We need to hit the road running, so to speak. We just found out very recently that he’s retiring,” said MacDonald. “If you don’t find a perfect candidate that you really want, you just have someone work in an interim capacity until you find the right person. We’re not just going to hire someone as a placeholder.”

She would not speculate on what a starting salary would be, though she admitted it could be less than Horsey’s final income of $164,439. As for qualifications, MacDonald said the next superintendent has big shoes to fill.

“We want our students ready for a job or college or both … (We need) someone who understands that and just raises the bar even further than it is now,” she said. “There’s no excuse in this district for not having the best.”

Horsey himself hopes the next man or woman for the job would appreciate the burden and all that goes with it.

“It’s a great district. It’s going to take someone who has great communication skills, listening skills,” he said. “Because the people in this district value what they do and each other, so you need somebody like that, who’ll respect that.”