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McDermott accepts Creston superintendent position

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 11:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 1:08 p.m. CDT

Creston School Board of Directors offered the superintendent position to Steve McDermott, current superintendent of Newton Community School District.

“I was just thrilled,” said McDermott about when he was offered the position. “I was just so excited about the opportunity ... I learned so much more (about Creston) going through the interview and just became more and more enthused about the opportunity.”

Offer

Creston School Board voted unanimously to offer the position of superintendent to McDermott.

“It was a hard decision to make,” said Sharon Snodgrass, Creston School Board president. “We felt both could have been a good superintendent, and I don’t know that there’s one single thing that makes one outweigh the other.”

McDermott and Brad Baker, current principal at Creston Elementary School, were the two candidates.

McDermott accepted the offer Thursday night. His start date will be July 1 at a salary of $143,000. He will be under a three-year nonprobationary contract with applicable benefits, subject to a background check and release from Newton Community School District.

“We wish him well in his new position in Creston,” said Andy Elbert, Newton Community School Board president in a Newton Daily News interview today. “... Steve has done some pretty great things for us here, so it’s hard to see him go. But I understand change is needed every once in a while and I understand why he needed to accept this new position.”

Process

McDermott and Baker under went a full day of interviews.

Baker’s interview was held Wednesday, and McDermott’s was Thursday.

“It’s not just a walk in the park,” said Snodgrass. “It’s a pretty intensive process.”

Each candidate was interviewed by several focus groups: administrator, support staff, teacher and parent/community. The men also met with interim Superintendent Chuck Scott, and Creston School Board members.

“It’s a position I had kept an eye on for a long time,” McDermott said. “I saw ... the recent work that’s been done ... and it really matched with some of the things that I have worked with in my career.”

Background

McDermott, originally from Greenfield, earned a bachelor’s degree in art education and coaching from Westmar College. He went on to graduate from Drake University with a specialist’s degree and master’s degree in pre-K through 12 education administration. His post-graduate course work was in effective teaching.

McDermott is currently the superintendent of Newton Community Schools. He has been there for 11 years. Before that, he was superintendent at Nodaway Valley School District for three years, and a principal for the NV School District before that for five years.

McDermott is not married. He has three children, two in college and one in high school.

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