The Carlisle Community School District will hold meetings Wednesday with selected members of the community and the three finalists in the district’s search for its next superintendent.
the growing neighborhood serves approximately 2,300 students in and around Carlisle, a city about 10 miles southeast of Des Moines.
Finalists include a district administrator and two from other central Iowa districts. Candidates will also meet with students, parents and staff at meetings on Wednesday.
The three candidates were chosen from 29 applicants. Eight of the 29 had preliminary interviews with the school board. Two finalists are men and one is a woman from a pool of applicants with 24 men, four women and one person who has not disclosed their gender. The position was open for applications from March 9 to April 3.
A stakeholder survey of residents, staff and families of students identified several key elements. These were:
- Recruit, hire, support, develop and retain effective staff
- Fosters a community of care and support for students
- Establishes relationships between the school and the community
- Effectively manages district resources
- Engage meaningfully with families and community members
The Carlisle School Board has hired Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search for superintendents. According to a school district press release, a final hiring decision will be made shortly after formal interviews are complete.
What is the background of candidates for the position of superintendent?
Brandon Eighty is currently the Director of Human Resources and School Services for the Carlisle School District. Eightmy supervised the directors of the facilities, transportation, technology and catering departments. He also leads the district’s technology integration team, including managing the district’s 1:1 computing device program. Before coming to Carlisle, Eighmy was a primary school principal in Osceola. Eightmy did not respond to a request for comment.
Carole Eddy served as the Director of Curriculum and Innovation for the Ankeny Community School District for two years. Ankeny has approximately 12,788 students. Prior to this role, she was Principal of STEM College and Principal of Summit Alternative Learning High School in Ankeny. She began her 20-year teaching career as a seventh-grade geography teacher at Southeast Polk.
“I didn’t even apply (for the position) until the stakeholder survey was completed,” Eddy said. “I love my job. But when the stakeholder survey came out, I found that my skills matched what the district was looking for.”
She specifically identified her ability to build relationships within a community and with teachers. She said other strengths include recruiting and supporting teachers and providing an emotional support structure for staff and students.
“When I was Principal of Summit at Ankeny, our alternative learning school, I saw the needs for mental health and behavioral support. Student support and staff support,” Eddy said.
“I am very excited about this opportunity. I hope in my interview I can demonstrate that I want to have a relationship with them and if offered I want to help them grow and build on the foundations they have already built,” said Eddy.
Erik Anderson is a native of Pocahontas and is the current superintendent of the Colfax-Mingo Community School District, about 30 miles east of Des Moines. Anderson served as superintendent there for three years and has 28 years of overall education experience.
Prior to joining the district of 750 students, Anderson served as a high school principal at Cedar Rapids for six years. He was also a math teacher and coach.
Anderson said he was interested in the superintendent position at Carlisle because of the strong school district.
“Pretty much any metric you look at will show that this is a quality school district. All of these numbers are on the rise. Anyone would be lucky to be considered for this opportunity,” Anderson said.
He praised the district’s “united community” and unique opportunities as a building trades class which culminates each year with a residential house built by students.
“Carlisle is just an outstanding school district and they have a tradition of it,” Anderson said.
Teresa Kay Albertson covers the southern suburbs of Des Moines for the Register and the Indianola Record-Herald. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-419-6098.