The Bettendorf Community School District Board of Education has selected two finalists for the district superintendent position: Michelle Meredith Morse, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources Newhall School District, Valencia, CA and Robert Callaghan, Superintendent, Newton Community School District, Newton, IA.
Michelle Meredith Morse, Ed.D.
Dr. Michelle Meredith Morse has more than 25 years of experience in public education and currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources for the Newhall School District in Valencia, California. Prior she was the West Coast Education Director for Generation Ready, based in New York. Morse also has experience as the Director of Special Education in Conejo Valley Unified School District in Thousand Oaks, CA. She has also worked with Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita, California as Director of Child Development Programs, Program Specialist for Student Support Services and Summer School Principal. She has served as Adjunct Faculty for the University of Southern California Doctor of Education Program as well as College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA in Early Childhood, Allied Health and Speech/Language Pathology Assistant Program.
Dr. Morse has her Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation is titled Strategies Used by Superintendents in Developing Leadership Teams. She received Professional Administrative Services Credential Tier II from Chapman University, San Diego, CA. In addition, she has an M.A. in Educational Leadership and an M.A. in Special Education-Early Childhood Special Education from California State University. She also has a B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.
Robert Callaghan has 24 years of experience in education and is currently the Superintendent of the Newton Community School District in Newton, IA. Previously, he was the superintendent at Rogers Independent School District in Rogers, TX. He served in the Borger Independent School District in Borger, TX as Assistant Superintendent for K-16 Transitions/Non-Instruction and as a principal for Borger High School. He has also been a principal for Temple High School in Temple Independent School District in Texas and Assistant Principal in South Houston High School in the Pasadena Independent School District in Texas.
Callaghan has a Superintendent Certification from West Texas A&M University, an MS in Educational Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, an M.Ed. Heath & P.E. and Texas teaching certificate from Pan American University in Edinburg, TX. He also has a BA in Psychology from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. In addition, Callaghan is working on his Ph.D. in the School of Education at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.
The two candidates will be coming to the Bettendorf Community School District on Thursday, February 6 for additional interviews with stakeholder groups including staff, students, parents, and community members.
The Bettendorf Board of Education invites the public to meet the candidates at community forums at Mark Twain Elementary School, 1620 Lincoln Rd. The public is asked to come at 5:30 pm to submit questions for the candidates. Both finalists will be asked the same questions at the forum. The Michelle Meredith Morse forum will be 6-6:50 pm. The Robert Callaghan forum will be 7-7:50 pm. Attendees may complete impression forms to share input with the school board. The forums will be Live Streamed on the BettSchools Facebook page and posted to the BettSchools YouTube channel.
Thursday evening, the board will have a second interview with the finalists and review stakeholder feedback. The board intends to vote on its selection of the new superintendent at the February 18 school board meeting.
The Bettendorf Community School District superintendent search has been conducted with the assistance of the search firm Ray and Associates. The search process included many hours of reviewing application materials, interviewing semi-finalist candidates and carefully assessing the qualifications of candidates in relation to the candidate profile determined by the board, district employees and community members. The board evaluated 8 applicants from a pool of 36 and interviewed three before narrowing the search to two finalists. Note: The board asked five candidates for interviews. Two accepted job offers prior to the interview dates.
About BCSD: The Bettendorf Community School District is located in Bettendorf, IA and serves approximately 4,600 prekindergarten through 12th grade students. Our school boundaries include part of the city of Bettendorf as well as a small section of Davenport, IA. We have five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and an alternative high school program shared with two neighboring districts. Our vision is linking learning to life with passion, purpose and pride so that all students can make a difference.