Verona Area School District administrative building March 2020

The outside of the Verona Area School District administration building.

The school board’s decision on selecting a superintendent search firm has been postponed from its original date because of COVID-19 concerns.

But having built a timeline with wiggle room for finding current superintendent Dean Gorrell’s successor will allow them to stay on track, board member Meredith Stier Christensen wrote to the Press in an email.

“I don’t anticipate that this temporary postponement of search firm interviews will set us behind in the least,” she wrote. “Flexibility within the entire process will be necessary as we move forward.”

The board was scheduled to do in-person interviews with superintendent search firms in closed session at its Monday, March 16, meeting, but instead will be postponing them until late April or early May depending on what the situation is like with COVID-19, Stier Christensen wrote. None of the board members attended the meeting in person on March 16, opting to call in.

Gorrell announced his upcoming retirement in early January. He will leave the district on June 30, 2021, done intentionally to give the board ample time to select a successor.

The board’s timeline for selecting a new superintendent, published in January, involved board members working with a chosen superintendent firm on ways to engage families, students and staff in the selection process from April to June, and having those conversations with them in July and October. The board’s timeline had scheduled for it to select a superintendent candidate in December.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.