Miller principal among West Marshall superintendent finalists

First-year Miller Middle School Principal Jacy Large is among the five finalists vying to be the next superintendent of the West Marshall School District.

The five finalists will interview with the West Marshall School Board each night next week at 7 p.m. beginning with Large on Monday.

The four other candidates in the order they will interview next week are Brian Coppess (Tuesday), Ken Howard (Wednesday), Darin Jones (Thursday) and Nicole Kooiker (Friday).

The interviews will be open to the public and be held at the high school library in State Center.

There are also public receptions planned for each candidate the day they are interviewing from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. at the middle school library in State Center.

Large lives in the West Marshall district in Melbourne and started as principal last summer in Marshalltown, arriving from the Ankeny School District.

“It’s a unique situation,” Large said. “My family lives in the district, and I’m a former student in the district. I don’t ever want to discredit Marshalltown. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll be glad to stay in Marshalltown.”

Coppess is the associate principal at Urbandale High School. Howard is the current superintendent and elementary principal at Remsen-Union Community School District in Remsen.

Jones currently serves as elementary principal in the Montezuma School District. Kooiker is the principal of Spring Creek Sixth Grade Center in the Southeast Polk School District in Pleasant Hill.

“I think they all have really valuable experience in their school districts and in school buildings,” said Lisa Breja, president of the West Marshall School Board. “I certainly feel we have someone there (among the finalists) who will be more than capable to fill this position.”

The school district had a total of 28 applicants for the job, and a search firm narrowed them down to eight quarterfinalists. The school board then selected the five finalists from the eight quarterfinalists. Breja said they tentatively plan to make a decision on the hire during a May 1 board meeting.

Current West Marshall Superintendent Ned Sellers is retiring on June 30, after serving in the position since 1998.