Less than two years after leaving the district for a top job at ESU-13, Andrew Dick made his case Tuesday as to why he should lead Scottsbluff Public Schools.
Dick, the current ESU-13 administrator and a former Scottsbluff High School assistant principal, interviewed with the Board of Education on Tuesday night. The district is looking to find a replacement for outgoing superintendent Rick Myles. He led the district for over a decade and announced his retirement in December.
After Tuesday’s interview, the school board was halfway through its week-long interview process in search of a new leader.
With Dick, the school board was given a candidate with local ties and long history in the Scottsbluff school system. He’s a Scottsbluff High School graduate, for one.
Dick, whose parents also worked in the SBPS system, is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, a Masters of Education degree in curriculum and instruction, and a Doctorate of Education in educational leadership, all from UNL.
Dick also has field endorsements in business education, basic business, and marketing education from UNL as well as a Cooperative Education/Diversified Occupations endorsement and Nebraska Standard Administrative Certificate.
Dick’s first job in education was in Lincoln at Park Middle School in 2004.
“It is just west of the capitol, and a very diverse middle school within Lincoln,” Dick said.
Shortly after being hired at Park Middle School, Dick applied for an open position at Scottsbluff High School. After two years at SHS, Dick became the assistant Principal at Bluffs Middle School in 2006 before becoming the building principal in 2011.
In 2015, he returned to SHS as assistant principal of teaching and learning before taking the top job at ESU-13 in 2019.
“When I attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln, I always knew there was an idea or a desire to return home. Quite frankly, I didn’t think it would be at the age of 24,” he said.
During an interview with the Star-Herald, Dick said his former workplace had several strengths going into the superintendent search. He pointed to its staff as a big one.
“It’s a staff that buys into the mission of the district and wants to do what’s best for kids. It’s that it’s those individuals, those people that I desire to return to and work alongside with again,” he said.
He added that he feels the staff at ESU-13 has the same strengths. SBPS’s partnerships in the community were also a major strength that Dick pointed out.
On the other end, Dick pointed to the district’s operations amid the coronavirus pandemic as an ongoing challenge. He also said that rebounding from the pandemic will also be a challenge.
“Inevitably, students did fall behind. But it’s about determining how much they (fell behind),” he said, adding that he’d rely on data for such issues.
During the interview, Dick was asked how he’d hold his building administrators accountable. He said that it was important to judge success on the individual’s goals. They’d also be required to submit a summary of goals every year. That would allow him to evaluate his building administrators, he said.
Dick, a former administrator, will be followed on Wednesday by Wendy Kemling-Horner, a current SBPS administrator. Kemling-Horner is the district’s executive director of student services and has been since 2006. Her department oversees programs like the after-school, Sixpence, and preschool programs. She also supervises some of the district’s federal responsibilities like Title I and Title IX.
Like all the interviews, Kemling-Horner will answer the school board’s questions at 5 p.m. in the SHS board room. The meeting is open to the public.