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Wauneta-Palisade picks interim superintendent PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 18:31

Dr. Stan Sibley of Glenwood, Iowa tapped to begin work Nov. 1

By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze

 

After a month-long search that included the screening of 16 applicants, the Wauneta-Palisade School Board has chosen Dr. Stan Sibley of Glenwood, Iowa, as the next superintendent of schools.

“He was the most qualified and experienced candidate,” said WP School Board President Jon Anderjaska during a special school board meeting Monday.

Anderjaska said the board was impressed by Sibley’s ability to answer its questions in a calm and professional manner during his interview.

Sibley has a strong background in education administration, as well as ties to Nebraska. He graduated from Omaha’s Benson High School in 1962 before spending the bulk of his professional career working in the Cornhusker State.

The opportunity to return to Nebraska was what enticed Sibley most about the Wauneta-Palisade superintendent job.

“I’ve always wanted to have a western Nebraska experience,” said Sibley.

Sibley said he has several good friends who currently live in the southwest Nebraska area. Knowing that he wanted to return to Nebraska to finish his career, those very friends contacted Sibley to inform him of the opening at Wauneta-Palisade.

Dr. Stan Sibley

 

“I heard the unfortunate news of Nelson’s untimely death and it got me thinking,” said Sibley. “Maybe I can help a community that’s in need and also fulfill some of my own ambitions to get back to the western part of the state.”

Sibley was most recently the superintendent at Glenwood School District from 2001 until his retirement after the 2009-2010 school year.

Sibley is no stranger to building projects, as the completion of a newly constructed high school in Glenwood came during his final year. He has already been busy making contacts with the Wauneta-Palisade project management team from Architecture Etcetera so that he can “hit the ground running” upon his arrival in the district.

“I hope to get an overview from the two-dimensional drawings and see how the project is becoming a reality,” said Sibley. “Kids need to be in facilities that are worthy of their noble endeavor of education. All we can do to make those environments open and comfortable are important — not only for students’ learning conditions, but also for the staff’s working conditions.”

After his graduation from Benson High, Sibley spent several years working on cattle ranches in Wyoming. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at the University of Wyoming. His first five years working in education were spent in Colorado. In 1976, he moved back to Nebraska, where he worked until he left for Glenwood, Iowa in 2001.

Sibley and his wife, Joanie, as well as their children John and Jennifer, each have degrees from The University of Nebraska. After finishing his doctorate in administration and curriculum at UNL, Sibley went on to become Director of Government Relations for Omaha Public Schools. In his final three years in Omaha, he served as the Director of General Administration. He also worked in Nebraska Governor Bob Kerrey’s office as his assistant, in what he called “exciting years for education reform.”

A stop in Valley, Neb., at what is now known as Douglas County West High School, lasted from 1997 to 2001 when Sibley worked as superintendent.

Sibley used a flying reference, similar to those frequently mentioned by former superintendent Nelson Dahl, in describing his administrative philosophy.

He said teachers are on the ground level, able to see what happens from the students’ desk. The administrator is also close and hands on, but needs to see a bigger picture, said Sibley. He said it’s the school board’s job to fly at an even higher altitude and provide a long-range vision.

Sibley said he looks forward to working in a small school where he will be able to have more direct relationships with students.

“I’ve always tried to support students, but when you’re in a school district with over 2,000, it can be difficult to have personal, ongoing relationships with them,” said Sibley. “Building those relationships is going to be a high priority for me when I get there.”

Strong community involvement is also high on Sibley’s priority list. Being an active member in the towns he serves is something he said he doesn’t only see as important, but critical.

“I fully intend to be very visible,” said Sibley. “I like people, and all the folks I’ve met from Wauneta and Palisade are very friendly and open. I look forward to establishing long-range relationships with them.”

Sibley was one of three candidates who were interviewed by the Wau-Pal School Board.