The national search for the Superintendent position of Canyons School District has officially been announced by the Board of Education. The brochure was completed during the Winter Recess and the initial mailing was to 156 individuals and/or organizations with more mailings and contacts to follow. The national education publications and on line advertisements have started and will continue until the closing of the announcement March 3, 2014.

Watch the Canyons "Who We Are" Video:

The Canyons Board of Education today announces the historic selection of three finalists in the national search to appoint the District's next Superintendent.

The finalists, chosen after an exhaustive application-review and interview process, are the following veteran administrators and educators:
  • Dr. James Briscoe, Superintendent of Schools, DeKalb Community Unit School District No. 428 in DeKalb, Ill.
  • Craig Hammer, Executive Director of Secondary Schools, Washington County School District in St. George
  • Dr. Kathryn McCarrie, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Performance Officer, Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah
The seven-member Board of Education selected the finalists after completing three days of interviews with a select group of applicants from around the country. Canyons District's first-ever superintendent, Dr. David S. Doty, resigned in spring 2013 to lead a national education reform organization. Dr. Ginger Rhode has served as Interim Superintendent since July 1, 2013 and recently announced her intention to retire July 1, 2014.

"As a Board, we have been duly and thoroughly impressed with the quality of the candidates. It truly was a challenge to narrow the list to just three finalists," said Board President Sherril H. Taylor. "However, the Board remains dedicated to finding the best possible leader for the District, and we're confident in the skills, talents and experience of those who remain in consideration for this vitally important position."

Dr. James Briscoe
Craig Hammer
Dr. Kathryn McCarrie
Dr. Briscoe, who earned a Doctorate of Education at Northern Illinois University, has served for six years as the superintendent of a 6,200-student school district located about 50 miles west of Chicago. Prior to this appointment, he served as superintendent of a 1,800-student high school in Oak Lawn, Ill., and principal of high schools in Brookfield, Wis., and Round Lake, Ill. He also has been a classroom teacher. Hammer, who received a Master of Education at the University of Utah, has worked for seven years as the executive director of  secondary schools in the 28,000-student school district located in southern Utah. He also has worked for 15 years as a high school administrator, including 13 as principal of Dixie High School, and nine years as a classroom teacher.  Dr. McCarrie, the recipient of a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, has been Assistant Superintendent since 2011. McCarrie was one of the first administrators appointed in CSD, serving for two years as the Executive Director of the Special Education Department. She also was Granite District's Special Education Director and Associate Director for nine and four years, respectively. In addition, McCarrie has worked as a principal, assistant principal, special-education coordinator, school psychologist and a special-education classroom teacher.

Members of the Board of Education plan to conduct additional interviews and site visits to the workplaces of the finalists. The Board aims to select the successful candidate in time for a July 1, 2014 start date.

Study Session Update

As outlined in the Superintendent Search Timeline:

The application process closed 3-3-14

We had inquiries from:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington State
  • Wyoming
  • Dubai

Some of these were multiple inquiries from each state. We feel there is a strong pool for the Board to consider as candidates for the Canyons Superintendent position.

We have had multiple conversations with each applicant and are continuing to conduct reference checks.

Some of the applicants have not informed their board or supervisor of their application. They are waiting to see if they are a viable candidate in the eyes of the board. Therefore, all reference checks have not been completed but will completed in the near future.

We are working closely with the Board Search Committee, and Board, on the next steps to determine who will move from applicant to candidate and when interviews will be conducted.

We are not announcing names of applicants, locations or numbers at this time due to the confidentiality promised the applicants.  As is customary, in most superintendent searches, names and locations of finalists will be released when the Board identifies them as such and takes over the search procedures, in collaboration with the consultants. When this occurs, the Canyons District Communications staff will be involved and the media will be notified.

We are on target with the original timeline of announcing a superintendent approximately mid-May.

We would like to publicly thank the board for their work with stakeholders to determine what they are looking for in a superintendent. This has been an impressive undertaking and it has been noted by the applicants.

Also, we would like to thank the key staff, Charlie Evans, Susan Edwards, Scott Harper, Jennifer Toomer-Cook, Jeff Haney, Mark Hurst, Tyler Toone, Gaylene Halvorsen and any other behind the scene staff that have assisted in the search process to date. Everything from the website, to the brochure, to the mailings have been impressive to those inquiring about Canyons and demonstrating an interest in the vacancy.

pdfStakeholder Feedback Summary

Timeline   view-brochure 

Consultants' Information

Rickie-Badge-Photo-sm  icon email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Consultant

Rickie McCandless is a seasoned educator and education consultant, whose experience ranges from teaching Salt Lake City middle school students to attracting top talent with national superintendent search firms. A former educator and associate superintendent in the Salt lake City School District, McCandless has extensive work experience collaborating with School Community Councils and cultivating site-based decision-making. She has led community engagement practices in school building designs, served as a member of the Canyons School District Educational Transition Team, and was instrumental in the successful inaugural Canyons Superintendent Search in 2008. McCandless has worked as an educational consultant since 2006, and is an instructor at the University of Utah's Urban Institute for Teacher Education.

Claudia-Badge-Photo-sm icon email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Co-Consultant

Claudia Seeley has extensive experience as a professional educator and facilitator. She began her career as a public school psychologist, and later served as a school administrator and district staff development director in Davis, Granite and Salt Lake City school districts. Seeley worked nine years at University of Utah’s Educational Leadership and Preparation Department, where she served as Director of Field Placement and as a clinical instructor and academic advisor. A respected facilitator and presenter, Seeley has worked extensively with employee, parent and community groups. She facilitates discussion with a keen sense of humor and awareness of process integrity, and is known for creating safe environments in which stakeholders can freely share their insights.