The Perry School Board has announced Clark Wicks as the new Superintendent for the district. The decision comes after the announced second wave of interviews, pushing back the original time line of a chosen candidate from April 3 to April 13.

A second round of interviews started up on Thursday evening starting at 6 p.m. The announcement was made two hours after the additional fifteen-minute interview slot for each candidate. Candidates were informed via phone call.

President of the School Board Kyle Baxter explained the process of choosing Wicks at the candidate.

“The Superintendent experience that he has already, they both have great leadership skills, they’re both valued very much so in our district,” Baxter said. “Clark just has that four and four years of Superintendent experience, and that was enough tip at this point.”

Follwing the announcement, Wicks reflected on the process coming to an end.

“I was excited, relieved, and just so looking forward to being a superintendent here,” Wicks said.

Wicks currently resides in Perry and has been part of the community for 27 years. Wicks has three children, all whom of which enrolled and went to school at PCSD. When he heard about the opportunity, he was eager to jump at the experience.

After early retirement, Clark said he had one goal in mind: work harder and get more experience.

“The roots go down deep, and that’s the only thing in my mind: if I could ever come back again, I would jump at the opportunity to make a positive difference in the school and community,” Wicks said.

Board Member Linda Andorf thanked the community support through the experience.

“We’ve all had a lot of input from the community this week and I speak from everyone and myself from the board when I say we truly appreciate all of the phone calls we’ve gotten,” Andorf said. “It was a very difficult choice to make because they are very fine educators.”

The debate was held between two candidates who hold ties to the Perry school district: PCSD Middle School Principal, Shaun Krueger, and current Superintendent of Orient-Macksburg Schools, Clark Wicks. Krueger has been Perry’s Middle School Principal since 2005, and Wicks worked as the PCSD’s Elementary Principal from 1989 to 2012.

Following current Superintendent Lynn Ubben’s announced retirement earlier this year, the PCSD School Board began making preparations and planning for the hiring process back in late February. Online applications were made available the following week, where the board received around a total of 18 candidates.

This is the first time the current School Board has participated in the hiring of a Superintendent.

Baxter said the Board grew closer through the experience.

“We’ve put lots of time in it,” Baxter said. “One very positive thing that I can take away from this as a board is the relationship; we’ve all grown together so much as a board and have worked together very well from the process.”

From the 18 candidates, six were interviewed by five total interviewing committees, including the School Board. The board made a consecutive decision to shy away from a Hiring Board and ultimately create a team of groups who would later participate in conducting the interviews.

The five total interviewing committees included “Administrative,” “Teacher,” “Director,” “Community,” and “School Board.”

The Board previously discussed the importance of keeping votes anonymous among committee members. A grading rubric was created with the option to rate each candidate between a 1-3 number scale, 3 being the highest score. Names were taken off of the card, participants were able to write additional comments.

A special board meeting will be held to approve of the announcement.