The Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees has taken the next step in hiring a replacement for retiring Superintendent Mark Thane, who will be stepping down on June 30.

Chair of the Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees, Marcia Holland described the process.

“Last night, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved preparing and sending out an RFP, which is a Request for Proposal,” said Holland. “Essentially, it is a request for any entity who would be interested in submitting a proposal as a consulting firm or entity to help the board conduct the search. We’re hoping to have the RFP done quickly and get it published, so we can have some responses by January 8, our next board meeting.”

Holland said once the decision has been made to hire a firm, then that will begin to put in place the process of hiring the next superintendent.

She said replacing someone like Mark Thane will be a challenge.

“Mark is remarkable in particular because he grew up in the Missoula County public schools, sp when we go on school visits there are now teenagers and even teachers who were students of Mark’s at some point in his life,” she said. “He has been such an integral part of MCPS for over 39 years that it will be very hard to replace him, but we will. We’re hoping that we will have a satisfactory or even a great replacement for Mark before his retirement date of June 30th.”

One of the requests that Thane said he will make of his replacement is to continue to appear on the KGVO radio Talk Back program once a month to answer questions from the public.