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GFPS begins search for new superintendent

Posted at 2:48 PM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 17:37:42-05

GREAT FALLS — Earlier this month, it was revealed to the public that Great Falls Public Schools (GFPS) Superintendent Tom Moore will be retiring at the end of the school year.

During their November 13th meeting, the school board voted to forgo the annual review of the superintendent, with knowledge of his retirement.

Moore said it has been a decision of his for the past three years, to not pursue a new contract given that he'd be 65 this year. He told the board the same thing last year.

Moore has worked for Great Falls Public Schools for 17 years and served as Superintendent since 2019

During the board's November 27th meeting, Chairman, Gordon Johnson said that the district will be contracting with the Montana School Board Association in search of a new superintendent. He added they will also work alongside an attorney in Missoula.

Johnson said, "Both are experienced in conducting superintendent searches. Both are interested in assisting us in that process."

Johnson said they reviewed sample contracts.

The Montana School Board Association offered $7,500 for their services whereas the Missoula Attorney offered an all inclusive fee of $10,000.

"Both are very critical sources to us," Johnson said. "With the Montana School Board Association, there can be potential additional expenses should we go over the limit of people we want background searches on, and other incidentals."

The district decided to not pursue working alongside services out of state due to expenses almost doubling the in-state costs. Johnson added when speaking with other AA district chairpersons, they weren't always satisfied with the out-of-state providers.

Bill Bronson expanded upon Johnson's point on selecting in-state services, noting the importance of having an outside perspective in making important decisions.

Bronson also noted that many people have wondered why the school board can't go along with the search process themselves.

His response was "We don’t have the time. We don’t have the expertise individually to manage the process."

Gordon emphasized that the process is going to be a competitive one. As of right now, their goal is to get the process moving.

Tom Moore's final day as superintendent is June 30, 2024.