Sioux City school board offering superintendent position to Rod Earleywine

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - Dr. Rod Earleywine, the interim superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District, is the school board’s pick to be the district’s permanent superintendent.

The school board’s decision came after nearly 2 and a half hours spent in closed session, Thursday. In the end, the majority of the board favored Earleywine, who previously served as superintendent at Sergeant Bluff-Luton.

It was a decision months in the making. What started with 23 applicants was narrowed to 2 finalists: current interim superintendent Dr. Rod Earleywine, and Dr. Geovanny Ponce, the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for the Houston, Texas Independent School District.

The pair answered questions from the community at a forum Wednesday night. Then, Thursday, the board weighed in, preferring Earleywine on a 6-to-1 vote.

Despite the decision, board members praised Ponce and his passion for education.

“I wish Dr. Ponce the best, and I know that he is also, and will be also, an exceptional superintendent,” said Jan George, Sioux City School Board Vice President.

Board members also talked about how difficult their decision was.

“I think we also grew as a board through this process,” said Taylor Goodvin, a Director on the Sioux City School Board. “Definitely the hardest decision that I’ve had to make up here, and I’m proud of how we all handled it.”

Even Perla Alarcon-Flory, the only board member to vote “no” on the motion to hire Earleywine, praised the board’s communication throughout the selection process.

“My prayer as we went through this process is for us to have minds and hearts open and realize the impact of this decision,” she said. “And I can assure you, we all had the best interest of our children at heart.”

Board President Dan Greenwell commended Earleywine’s “quiet competence and confidence.” He believes the district will thrive under Earleywine’s leadership and noted several key developments during Earleywine’s short time as interim superintendent.

“Putting the middle schools back together, putting in new discipline policies, putting reading back in middle schools, he’s executed those flawlessly in his first pro year,” said Greenwell. “He’s also got an overhaul of our special education program. We’re undertaking that right now.”

Though Earleywine is the board’s choice, he still needs to negotiate a contract with the board. Once a contract is signed, it will officially take effect in the upcoming fiscal year. That means Earleywine’s term as superintendent would “officially” begin in July.

If he can agree to a contract, Earleywine will replace Dr. Paul Gausman, who announced last February he would become the superintendent of the Lincoln, Nebraska, Public Schools. In fact, not long after Gausman announced his resignation, Earleywine announced he would step down as the superintendent of the Sergeant Bluff-Luton school district.

In April, the Sioux City Community School Board named Earleywine interim superintendent, effective July 1st.

Earlier this month, Earleywine was named one of two finalists for the superintendent’s job in Sioux City.

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - On Thursday, school board members for the Sioux City Community School District decided who they would be offering the position of superintendent. After several interviews and debates, the board decided to vote in favor of Rod Earleywine.

The vote wasn’t unanimous, out of the seven members on the school board, six of them voted in favor of Earleywine. The only board member to vote no was Perla Alarcon-Flory.

Earleywine has been serving as Sioux City’s interim superintendent for the last seven months, ever since former superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman resigned and went to work in Lincoln, Nebraska’s school district. Earleywine was previously the superintendent of the Sergeant Bluff-Luton School District and has experience as a school principal, a social studies teacher and a high school coach.

Wednesday night, as Earleywine was answering the public’s questions in a “community conversation” at Sioux City North High, he said his previous experience will help him succeed in the district if he was offered the job.

”I see myself as a leader, the CEO of the Sioux City Community School District,” said Earleywine. “The Sioux City Community School District is the third-largest district in the state. But what I do each day in working with individuals, I still teach and I still coach. And it’s at the administrative level and working with administrators, but I think teaching and coaching them to be better is an important part of my job.”

Now that the vote has been taken, contract negotiations will begin between Earleywine and the school board. Once the contract has been finalized and Earleywine accepts it, he will become the school district’s permanent superintendent.

A list of Earleywine’s teaching credentials can be seen below:

  • Doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Dakota
  • Specialist degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in education from Drake University
  • Master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa.