Education

Cedar Rapids schools to extend interim superintendent contract

Extra time needed to find new chief, given board turnover

Noreen Bush (right) and Nancy Humbles, president of the Cedar Rapids school board, speak with The Gazette following a May board meeting at the Educational Leadership and Support Center in Cedar Rapids. The board has appointed Bush as its interim superitendent until it can hire someone to replace Brad Buck, who has left for a job in Waukee, and on Monday will consider extending the interim appointment until June 2021. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Noreen Bush (right) and Nancy Humbles, president of the Cedar Rapids school board, speak with The Gazette following a May board meeting at the Educational Leadership and Support Center in Cedar Rapids. The board has appointed Bush as its interim superitendent until it can hire someone to replace Brad Buck, who has left for a job in Waukee, and on Monday will consider extending the interim appointment until June 2021. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids school board will decide Monday whether to extend interim Superintendent Noreen Bush’s contract by a year.

The proposal comes after three school board incumbents declined to run for re-election in November. The seven-member board oversees the hiring of the district’s superintendent.

Bush’s contract extension would be to June 2021 and would allow new school board members more time to search for and hire a new superintendent, according to a Thursday news release from the Cedar Rapids school district.

This year’s school board election on Nov. 5 could result in a board “with at least four members who have not participated in a superintendent hiring process,” according to the news release.

Superintendent Brad Buck resigned from the Cedar Rapids district to take a position with Waukee school district this spring.

Bush — Buck’s associate superintendent and deputy superintendent — was selected as interim superintendent.

A search for Buck’s successor was expected to begin this school year.

But with the first meeting for new board members not scheduled until December, “we didn’t want the new board members to walk into the middle of a hasty superintendent’s search or be charged with tackling a new search immediately in January,” Board President Nancy Humbles said in the district release.

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This year’s Nov. 5 elections will be the first to combine city and school contests in Iowa. The change — mandated by the Iowa Legislature — pushed school elections back from September to the same date as municipal elections.

Bush, in the release, said she was honored to be asked to remain in the interim position for two years.

In a May interview with The Gazette, Bush did not rule out an interest in the permanent position.

“Wherever the heart pulls,” she said in May, “I would be honored to serve.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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