From a pool of approximately 30 applicants, the Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education Monday night selected Dr. John Sample as the next superintendent of Merrill Area Public Schools. Sample has accepted the position.
Sample has served as MAPS Director of Special Education/Pupil Services for the past eight years. He was appointed acting superintendent in April, following the resignation of former superintendent Wally Leipart.
“Speaking for myself, having worked with Dr. Sample these last two and a half months, I have been very impressed with his work ethic and following through with things and being ahead of things,” MAPS board president Jen Seliger said.
The MAPS Board of Education had narrowed the field to two candidates going into a second round of interviews Monday night. The board’s other top pick was Dr. Stephen Guenther, currently the superintendent and pupil services director for the Albany School District, a district in Green County, Wis. with an enrollment of 360 students.
Pending final negotiations of a contract, the board expects to officially approve Sample as the new superintendent at a meeting tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, noted Seliger.
In the past, the district has used a search firm to assist with the application and screening process. This time, the district’s Human Resources Department posted the position and took the applications. The board of education then handled the screening and interviewing process on their own.
“The board felt we could handle the entire process,” Seliger said.
Community members and district staff were involved in the interview process as well. A total of 17 people participated in two nights of interviews.