A months-long search by the Omaha school board for a new superintendent has ended unsuccessfully after the two remaining finalists pulled out.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that the withdrawals came two days before the board was scheduled to meet to select a chief executive.
Paul Gausman, superintendent of Sioux City (Iowa) Community Schools, and Khalid Mumin, superintendent of the Reading (Pa.) School District, issued a joint statement Saturday night to announce their withdrawal.
“It is evident that neither of us have engendered ... support with the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education,” Gausman and Mumin wrote.
A third finalist, Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for instruction at Lincoln (Neb.) Public Schools, dropped out a week ago, saying the job wasn’t a good fit.
Board members said Saturday that Gausman and Mumin were both strong candidates who had garnered significant community support. But board members remained split on who was the best choice. Neither finalist seemed to have the support of a majority of the nine-member board, says board member Ben Perlman.
The board launched its search after Superintendent Mark Evans announced in October that he would retire at the end of the school year. Evans became superintendent in 2013.
The board has battled against the perception that it is divided after a marathon meeting in January in which board members cast more than 120 votes to elect a board president.
Video from WOWT-TV: