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Superintendent Search Information and Timeline

The Dysart Unified School District Governing Board is in the process of recruiting a superintendent  to start 2017-2018 school year.  The Governing Board has hired McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to assist in the search process.

This web page will serve as the source for information regarding the search and will contain updates below.

Dr. Quinn Kellis to serve as Superintendent
Throughout the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, the Dysart Governing Board conducted a recruitment process for a new superintendent following the announcement that Dr. Gail Pletnick will retire at the end of the school year.  The national search was conducted in coordination with the search firm of McPherson and Jacobson, LLC.  

Following an extensive process that included community forums, district wide surveys, candidate interviews, and public deliberations, the Governing Board selected Dr. Quinn Kellis to serve as the district superintendent beginning July 1, 2018.  Dr. Kellis currently serves as the Superintendent of the Madison School District in Phoenix, Arizona and had previously served in Dysart as an assistant superintendent.  


Governing Board enters contract negotiations with Dr. Quinn Kellis

The Dysart Unified School District Governing Board unanimously voted to enter contract negotiations with Dr. Quinn Kellis for the position of district superintendent during a special meeting on Wednesday, December 20.  Over the coming weeks, the Board will work to negotiate a contract with Dr. Kellis that will need to be approved in a public meeting prior to final selection.


Special Meeting of Dysart Governing Board called for 12/20/17

The Governing Board will discuss and may consider offering a specific candidate the opportunity to enter into contract negotiations for the position of District Superintendent.

Meeting agenda


Governing Board Review of Candidates

The Dysart Unified School District Governing Board met in a closed meeting on Wednesday, December 13, to review and discuss the interviews of superintendent finalists.  Follow the meeting, the Board scheduled a second closed executive session scheduled for Monday, December 18, at 6:00 p.m.


Candidate Interview Process

On December 6, Dysart Superintendent candidates, Dr. Garn Christensen, Dr. Margaret Crespo, Dr. Quinn Kellis, and Dr. Lori Shough, completed tours of school facilities and met with various stakeholders prior to their interviews in a closed session with the Governing Board scheduled for the evenings of December 6 and 7.  Stakeholder groups include students, certified, classified, and community groups that include parent, business, governmental, and non-profit stakeholders.


Dysart Board advances four candidates in superintendent search

At the November 15 special meeting, the Dysart Unified School District Governing Board selected four candidates from the superintendent applicant pool to interview for the position on December 6-7, 2017. The interview process will be preceded by community stakeholder meetings including community organizations, parents, teachers, and students.

The four selected candidates for interviews are as follows:

  • Dr. Garn Christensen
  • Dr. Margaret Crespo
  • Dr. Quinn Kellis
  • Dr. Lori Shough

A copy of the application summaries are available via the link here.

The governing board scheduled a special meeting on December 13 regarding the superintendent search with another special meeting tentatively scheduled for December 20 to finalize a selection.

All media inquiries will be handled by the superintendent search firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC via the contact information below.

McPherson & Jacobson, LLC contact:
Steve Joel


Stakeholder Survey Results

At the Governing Board Meeting on October 25, 2017, results from the stakeholder input meetings and online survey were shared with the Board.  These results can be viewed via the link below.

Stakeholder Survey Executive Summary


Community Forum

Dysart Unified School District will host a community forum on Wednesday, October 4th from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. regarding the superintendent search.  The forum will serve as an opportunity for the public to share insights into what type of characteristics prospective superintendent applicants should possess as the search firm of McPherson & Jacobson, LLC recruits qualified candidates.

The meeting will be held in the Dysart Governing Board Room located at 15802 North Parkview Place in Surprise, Arizona.  Following the meeting, a community survey will be distributed online to collect additional perspectives.


Invitation to Apply

The invitation to apply was made public via the McPherson & Jacobson, LLC website.

Dysart Brochure


Search Proposed Timeline

09/27/2017:  Governing Board meeting with McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to organize search
10/04/2017:  Stakeholder meetings and online survey open to the public
10/23/2017:  Stakeholder meetings
10/25/2017:  Governing Board meeting with McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to review stakeholder input
10/26/2017:  Superintendent search closes at 11:59 p.m. 
11/15/2017:  Governing Board meets to review finalists
To Be Determined: Candidate interviews
To Be Determined: Superintendent selection


Dr. Gail Pletnick Announces Retirement

Superintendent Gail Pletnick is set to retire after the completion of the 2017-18 calendar.  

Your West Valley story from July 21, 2017