Boise trustees to interview Dennis Thursday

The fast-moving Boise superintendent’s search picks up bright and early Thursday morning  — and could conclude Thursday morning.

Trustees will interview Coby Dennis — Boise’s deputy superintendent, and the sole candidate to head Idaho’s second-largest school district. Board President Nancy Gregory has said it’s “highly unlikely” that Dennis won’t get the superintendent’s job.

The interview comes only eight days after the news broke that Superintendent Don Coberly is planning to retire, effective June 30. And the interview will take place behind closed doors.

The school board will convene a 7:30 a.m. meeting at district headquarters, 8169 W. Victory Road. Trustees then plan to interview Dennis in a closed executive session.

Coby Dennis

Trustees could fill the vacancy immediately after the interview.

“Following discussion, the board will reconvene into an open session to take board action on matters discussed in the closed meeting and/or adjourn this meeting,” the board meeting agenda reads.

Other large school districts — including West Ada and Nampa — built public meetings into their most recent superintendent’s search process.

The rapid process has its critics, even on the board.

During a Dec. 6 meeting, new Trustee Dennis Doan urged colleagues to launch a national search and accept external applications.

“What is the rush?” he asked. ”I’m advocating for an open process. … We should take our time. We should be transparent.”

Trustees voted 5-2 to invite Dennis to apply for the vacancy, making him the sole candidate for the job. Trustees said the process follows the district’s succession plan, which allows employees a way to advance their careers, while allowing the district to capitalize on its investment in employee development.

Following Thursday’s meeting, Gregory said trustees hoped to conclude the hiring process before Boise’s winter break, which begins Dec. 21.

Dennis has worked for the Boise district since 1991, when he was hired as a teacher.

Coberly has worked for the district since 1984, and was named superintendent in 2010.

Check back Thursday for updates on this story.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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