Helena superintendent search narrows to three

HELENA – After interviewing five semifinalists to replace Helena Superintendent Jack Copps who retires in June, the school board has narrowed the field to three finalists.

Greg Upham, assistant superintendent of the Helena School District, Barbara Hickman, the former superintendent of the Flagstaff Unified School District in Arizona, and Tyler Ream, associate superintendent for academic performance and support with the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas are being considered for the position.

According to chair Sarah Sullivan, the finalists will fly back to Helena next week for a meet and greet where the public can speak with the candidates informally and ask questions. The three candidates will also be vetted internally by students and staff in the school district – not just the school board.

The next day on March 15, the school board will convene and conduct the final round of interviews and the public will also have a chance to comment. Following the session, Sullivan said the board will make a selection.

The district hired consulting firm Hazard, Young Attea and Associates to assist with the search for candidates.

“We feel really fortunate to have worked with Hazard, Young and Attea,” Sullivan said. “Helena was very lucky in the candidates we were presented with.”

The community meet and greet with the three finalists begins at 7 p.m. at the Holter Museum of Art on March 14.

The school board will make its selection the following day at the Ray Bjork Learning Center, though a time has not yet been set. The meeting is open to the public.