Three finalists named for Charles City superintendent position

From left, Erik Anderson, Tim Cronin and Mike Fisher are the three finalists for the Charles City school superintendent position.
From left, Erik Anderson, Tim Cronin and Mike Fisher are the three finalists for the Charles City school superintendent position.
By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

Erik Anderson from Cedar Rapids Prairie, Tim Cronin from Central City and Mike Fisher from Waterloo are the finalists for the superintendent position in the Charles City Community School District.

The Board of Education announced the names Monday.

Anderson currently serves as the principal at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Cronin serves as the superintendent of schools and human resources director for the Central City Community School District and Fisher serves as the principal at Hoover Middle School in Waterloo.

Charles City’s current superintendent, Dan Cox, recently announced his resignation in order to accept a new position as chief administrator of the Northwest Area Education Agency, based in Sioux City.

In April, the school board agreed to establish and publish a salary range for the new superintendent, which was listed at $150,000 to $170,000. The district took applications for a new superintendent until April 29.

The board is working with Grundmeyer Leader Search, which presented all of the candidates to the board on Monday, May 7, in closed session.

Based on application materials, community survey results, objective ratings, reference calls and board discussion, the school board chose seven semifinalists. The board held 30-minute screening interviews with the semifinalists on Thursday, May 10.

Twenty-six candidates — 23 men and three women — applied for the position. Two identified their ethnicity as Hispanic, one as Asian/Pacific Islander and 23 as white. Seven of the applicants had doctoral degrees and 13 had three or more years of superintendent or related leadership experience.

A stakeholder survey was conducted in April to obtain feedback from the public on the desired qualifications in a new superintendent, and 308 people responded. The top two professional skills the respondents were looking for in a new superintendent were “builds school and community relations” and “effectively manages district revenues.”

The most important personal trait a superintendent should have, according to the majority of respondents, was that the new superintendent should be “approachable and open-minded.”

The three candidates will be visiting Charles City on Monday, May 21, and interview for the job here. The interview schedule includes multiple sessions with stakeholder groups and a community tour.

Feedback from the interview teams will be shared with the school board later the same evening to assist them in selecting the new superintendent. The successful candidate will begin duties on July 1.

Bios of the three finalists:

Erik Anderson

Anderson currently serves as the principal at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids. He taught at Prairie for nine years and served as associate principal before being named the principal in 2013.

He received the Legacy Award from the University of Northern Iowa where he earned his master’s and specialist degrees.  He has experience with leading building projects and a bond referendum.

As an instructional leader, Erik assisted in forming the Iowa BIG program, implemented Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), and Standards-Based Grading (SBG).

Tim Cronin

Cronin currently serves as the superintendent of schools and human resources sirector for the Central City Community School District.  He has held this role for the last six years.

Prior to Central City, he was an elementary principal in the Cedar Rapids Community School District.  He also teaches as an adjunct instructor for the Education Leadership Program at the University of Iowa.

He is part of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency Superintendent Network Instructional Rounds and also served on the Governor’s Task Force for Computer Science Education (2017).

Mike Fisher

Fisher currently serves as the principal at Hoover Middle School in Waterloo.  He has experience in building school culture and improving student achievement.

During his five years as the building principal, he has implemented Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) model. Two years ago, Hoover earned Lighthouse status as a Leader in Me school, one of just five middle schools in the world with that distinction.

Fisher earned his advanced studies certificate in 2015 and is currently working on his doctorate at the University of Northern Iowa. He was awarded the WHO Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2009.

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