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Gonzales named new Clarke superintendent

Caption
Benita Gonzales

OSCEOLA — Clarke Community School Board announced Wednesday a superintendent contract has been offered to Benita Gonzales — who is currently the shared superintendent of Sigourney and Tri County school districts.

The announcement came during a special board meeting Wednesday afternoon.

"It has been a long selection process with a lot of voicemail and back-and-forth talk," said Clarke School Board President Gerard Linskens.

Contract

The board is offering Gonzales a one-year contract to begin July 1 — according to Clarke Community School District Business Manager Ruth White. The contract includes a salary of $130,000 and cafeteria plan for insurance — which is a type of employee-benefit plan — of $1,000 per month.

The contract also includes 30 days of sick leave, which would consist of 20 days of sick leave from Gonzales' current school districts, and 10 days of sick leave Clarke offers for the first-year position.

The contract also has 20 vacation days and $5,000 toward moving expenses.

There were 22 applicants for the superintendent position. The board interviewed five finalists during the week of March 25.

The five finalists included Gonzales, East Union Superintendent Dr. Pam Vogel, Clarke Elementary Principal Brandon Eighmy, Audubon Superintendent Brett Gibbs and Clarke interim Superintendent Steve Seid.

However, Vogel withdrew her name from the candidate selection Monday. Clarke Community School District retained the services of McPherson and Jacobson L.L.C. to assist in conducting its search. The search firm will continue working with the school board and Gonzales in helping establish performance objectives.

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