Remaining OPS superintendent finalists drop out

Posted at 8:32 PM, Mar 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-18 22:22:30-04

The two remaining finalists the Omaha Public Schools superintendent position have dropped out. Both Dr. Paul Gausman and Dr. Khalid Mumin released a joint statement:

“As experienced educators, we understand the need for a supportive relationship between any board and its chief executive, as that team must work together to move a district forward; students, staff, parents, and the greater community deserve no less. It is evident that neither of us have engendered such support with the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education. Therefore, we respectfully withdraw our candidacy from the search process at this time.

We are fortunate, in that we both maintain positive relationships with our current local boards, and we celebrate the great students, staff members, programs, and the work in our districts to bring about heightened student achievement. To that end, we are pleased to continue the work in our own communities and school districts to serve our student populations.

We wish the Omaha Board of Education, the staff, students, and community of Omaha well as the Omaha Board continues their search to find the next superintendent of the Omaha Public Schools.”

Shortly after the announcement, OPS sent out a press statement:


“The Board of Education was notified late this evening that the two finalists for the superintendent of the Omaha Public Schools withdrew their candidacy.
“On behalf of the Omaha Public Schools, I would like to thank Dr. Gausman, Dr. Mumin and Dr. Stavem for being a part of our superintendent search process.  We appreciate their willingness to apply with OPS and respect their decisions to withdraw.
“The Board remains committed to finding the strongest possible candidate to serve as our Superintendent.  We will meet Monday at our regularly scheduled board meeting as planned, and we will discuss next steps.”

The Board voted to approve the final three candidate finalists following a recommendation from the search firm during a special open board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 28. Since that time, the candidates have taken part in official interviews, which were held March 6 and March 7 and in “meet and greet” sessions, which were open to the public March 6, 7 and 8.

McPherson & Jacobson, the national search firm hired to lead the search process, closed the application period on Feb. 8. A total of 33 completed applications were received from 19 states, including Nebraska.