Robert Kobylski is “optimistic” the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners will give him the go-ahead to start his new post as Davenport’s superintendent, and while the timeline projection he shared with the board Monday night might not meet the deadline issued by the Iowa Board of Education, a representative from the Department of Education said the State Board could be flexible.
"The Aug. 15 deadline was given with the understanding that if Dr. Kobylski's materials were under review by that time, the deadline could be moved a few days with approval from the State Board," said Staci Hupp, communications director, in an email. "The intent is to ensure the school district begins the year with a licensed superintendent, and the district staff have continuity in leadership."
While Kobylski reported he was told by the Board of Educational Examiners that the approval could take up to three to five more weeks, the three-week mark would be Aug. 12, just three days before Davenport’s deadline to secure a new superintendent. The deadline was set June 12 by the Board of Education, after negotiations with the district.
Per the state corrective actions, if a superintendent isn’t in place by Aug. 15, TJ Schneckloth will have to remain in the interim superintendent position he’s occupied since November, after former Superintendent Art Tate resigned.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Kobylski said of the deadline, adding that he was under the impression it was a priority for the Board.
Kobylski was certified in Wisconsin through WiscAd, an alternative program specific to the state, which the Board of Educational Examiners did not accept. After renewing his Illinois license — earned through his Ph.D. program at Loyola — he enrolled in coursework to fill the gaps from his licensure in 1999.
“It appears to me [Greg Horstmann] is giving it a great deal of attention and immediate attention,” Kobylski said. Horstmann handles superintendent licensure for the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. “... I”m hoping for a quick response.”
To fulfill Iowa requirements, Kobylski took five classes through Concordia and Loyola, which he completed June 30. He also said he had to work with the archivist at Loyola University to find the course descriptions from 1999, when he completed his doctorate. Horstmann requested the course descriptions to compare to Iowa requirements.
The transcripts from the Concordia classes have been sent to the Board of Educational Examiners, Kobylski said, but the transcripts from Loyola were delayed due to his professor’s travel schedule. He said while he had asked Loyola to send them to Horstmann, Horstmann requested Kobylski send them himself, which he plans to do in the morning.
“Everybody wants this to happen soon,” Board President Ralph Johanson said. “We’re rooting for you.”
Whenever the approval comes through, Kobylski said he’d be ready to start.
“I’ll be in my office the very next day,” he said.