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School board approves early retirement for Superintendent Cox

Clarke School Board approved the application for administrator early retirement for Clarke Superintendent Ned Cox during a Nov. 27 school-board meeting.

Cox was unavailable for comment today.

The last day of Cox's employment is requested to be Dec. 31, 2012. This matches the agreement filed with IPERS, as well.

Leaving on Dec. 31 also entitles the superintendent to a full payment for work in the month of December, as well as earned vacation days not taken.

Next step

The next step for the school board is to find an interim superintendent and then full-time superintendent.

"Basically, it's going to take time and due diligence," said Gerard Linskens, school-board president. "Most school districts will use a search firm for that reason."

There are three different search firms the school board is looking at.

The board wants to meet with representatives from each search firm for a question and answer session, and then choose a firm to hire.


The three firms are Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids, G. Tryon and Associates of Johnston and McPherson and Jacobson of Omaha, Neb.

Ray and Associates has a fee of $6,000 to hire both interim and new superintendent.

"Ray and Associates is probably the largest firm," Linskens said. "They are from Iowa, as you can see. … They have a very large network."

G. Tryon and Associates of Johnston has a fee of $6,950

For McPherson and Jacobson's fee, their superintendent search process is divided into phases. The investment for phases one through four is $5,000. If the board chooses to add the fifth phase, that charge is $1,000.

If the board chooses to have McPherson and Jacobson conduct the full-time superintendent search, there will be no charge for the interim superintendent search.

"I want us to make an educated decision, and, hopefully, everyone will be involved in this process," Linskens said. "I strongly recommend that all seven of us will be involved for the big, important step."


There is a sense of urgency because of the winter-holiday break that is coming up in a few weeks.

Linskens said he wanted to have something done before the next school-board meeting.

The board discussed setting up meeting dates with firm representatives to be scheduled before the Dec. 10 school-board meeting.

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