With the retirement of Superintendent Mark Thane, the Missoula County Public School District One Board of Trustees is preparing to engage an outside consultant to help find a new superintendent.

Communications Director Hatton Littman said because the superintendent is such a pivotal position, an outside consultant can help find the right person from a wider pool of applicants.

“Search consultants are often helpful with not only the posting of the position, making sure it gets out in the right publications, especially if they plan to look nationally,” said Littman. “They can help to organize the interview process and getting feedback from the community.”

Littman said the board will also consider the Elementary School Boundary Study at their meeting.

“Missoula is growing,” she said. “We have significantly more students, over 600 more students than we had just eight years ago,” she said. “We’re projecting another 500 more students in the next five years. The neighborhoods are changing and the balance of where families live are changing, and we haven’t looked at our boundaries since 2005.”

Littman said one other interesting note from MCPS is that the newly constructed Willard Alternative High School has been completed and is now holding classes.

“Willard School opened today in their new building,” she said. “It’s on the same plot of land, but it’s brand new construction, and then the original building will first experience some hazardous waste abatement, and then it will be demolished in the spring.”

Superintendent Thane will retire after the completion of the 2018-2019 school year in June.