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Sioux City Schools select Sergeant Bluff-Luton head as interim superintendent

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SIOUX CITY -- Rod Earleywine has been selected as interim Sioux City Community School District superintendent.

Earleywine resigned as the superintendent of the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District in February, after 27 years with the district. His last day is June 30. 

The board voted 5-2 to approve a contract with Earleywine to serve as the interim for one year, starting July 1. 

Sioux City Superintendent Paul Gausman was selected in February as the new superintendent of the Lincoln Public Schools. His last day in Sioux City is June 30.

Rod Earleywine


Dr. Paul Gausman press conference (copy)


The school board previously signed a contract with the Omaha firm of GR Recruiting, which specializes in recruiting for educational leadership roles, to help with the search for a new superintendent.

Board President Dan Greenwell said the search was done by a committee of himself and board members Jan George and Juli Albert. It was recommended by GR Recruiting to find someone locally who was qualified.

George said Earleywine was an excellent choice and had the experience to "hit the ground running." He said Earleywine knows Sioux City and is highly respected in Iowa. 

Board Member Bob Michaelson said Earleywine was a gift to the district. He compared the situation to stealing another school's head coach; Earleywine, Michaelson said, is someone who knows the district's "soft spots," having served in a nearby district for years. 

Board members Perla Alarcon-Flory and Monique Scarlett voted against the appointment, expressing concerns regarding the decision to choose an interim without school and community input. 

Alarcon-Flory said she felt the expected process was not followed, and an option for feedback from the staff and community was not given. She said her vote against the appointment was not against Earleywine, but against the process by which he was appointed. 

Scarlett said there was lack of communication in the process, with many of the board members were unaware of the selection until Friday. She said she did not meet Earleywine until Monday, and said the board wasn't given enough time to do research. 

Scarlett asked that the process be open for internal and external consideration; this idea, she said, was "shot down."

“I will work hard, I will gain you trust, I will gain you confidence, because that’s what I do," Earleywine said.

The main reason the board members gave previously for choosing to appoint an interim superintendent before hiring a new superintendent was to give the community and staff time to provide input on the candidates.

"If we're to do our due diligence I think we need to take our time and ensure we do this process correctly," Michaelson said previously.

Gausman, who'd been Sioux City's superintendent for 14 years, landed his "dream job" in his home state of Nebraska following the retirement of Lincoln superintendent Steve Joel, who announced in September that he would step down after 37 years.

Gausman said he has grown to love Siouxland and the people in the community.

“I pledge to this community that I intend to finish well here,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of things in the works right now and I intend to keep working forward on those things and to not be distracted as I do that work. This community, these students, deserves no less.”

At Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Earleywine had been superintendent for 15 years. Previously he had served as middle school principal for 12 years.

He had been at the forefront of pushing for improved schools and facilities in the SB-L District.


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