Nerad Finalist For Omaha Superintendent Job

Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Dan Nerad is one of three finalists to become superintendent of Omaha, Neb., public schools.

On Tuesday morning in Omaha, the school board publically announced the finalists for the superintendent job, which includes Nerad and candidates from Des Moines and Omaha.

The news of Nerad’s candidacy in the Omaha job follows his announcement on Monday that he was retiring and would step down after his contract expires in June 2013.

Madison School Board members said they weren’t aware that Nerad was so close to another job.

“I really don’t feel duped. He said that he was unsure, that he still had some education and some work in his system, and that he might look and see if there were some other opportunities that he might want to pursue,” said James Howard, president of the Madison School Board.

According to the terms of his contract, Nerad would have to give the Madison Metropolitan School District five months notice before leaving.

When he leaves, per his contract, he’s also entitled to a $37,500 retirement payout.

Nerad wouldn’t comment Tuesday, only releasing a statement which said his first commitment right now is Madison.

“I know I am an educator by blood. My life’s work has been dedicated to improving school and the lives of children, and as I said yesterday, I want to continue to do that important work. But as I have also made clear, my first commitment is to fully serve the children and staff of this district for as long as I am superintendent,” Nerad said in the statement.

Nerad will be in Omaha on Thursday for meetings with the school board and residents. The Omaha School District said it hopes to name its new superintendent in early April.

During the Monday news conference, Nerad had said his decision to step down came to a culmination in the last 10 days and that he has been in the process of deciding on retirement for several months.

“Things in total make the best sense right now for me to move on and for this district to move on,” Nerad said, adding he was proud of his time in charge.

He cited his reason for retiring included a variety of factors, and said the controversy over the achievement gap was “a factor.”

“As much as I think I can continue to offer constructive leadership, I think another person coming in can offer new views and new ideas and help create the type of conversation in support of children in this community,” Nerad said.

He said that he didn’t have any knowledge that the Board of Education wouldn’t want to extend his contract.

Nerad has been superintendent since July 2008, when the district hired him away from the Green Bay School District. He came to Madison as part of a national search to replace former superintendent Art Rainwater.