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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

(Board of Ed) Conducting a Superintendent Search

Some of the issues and concerns in a
superintendent search.

Hardly had the dust settled in the BOE's "transfer" of former superintendent Anna Belin Pyles back to her pre-super position and the appointment of Dr. Sheard as "Acting Superintendent" than there was a buzz to hire Dr. Sheard as the permanent superintendent and move on.

Not a wise move, by my lights.

There are a couple of things the District obviously needs -- a breather from all the turmoil, and a sense of stability for teachers, staff, students and families.

But the Board of Ed has a tremendous amount of work facing it.

In order to even hope to recruit a Superintendent with the skills and the moxie to move the District forward, the Board must assess the educational situation districtwide, consult with ALL stakeholders to help shape a well-focused strategic plan for the next six years or so, and create a profile of sorts for a successful candidate. (Not to mention arming themselves to spot a candidate who is great at the interview, but brings nothing or little else to the table.)

All of this will take time.

As a survivor of several pastoral searches, all I suggest is that the Board takes the time necessary to prepare thoroughly for a search and not rush its execution.

In the meantime, best practice would be to hire an interim superintendent and line up some consultant help to advise in the search process.

Current staff who may wish to be considered for the permanent job should not also be acting as superintendent. Common sense dictates it. If Dr. Sheard wants to be considered, she can throw her hat in the ring once an interim super is in place.

This is the time for those who are always saying "put the children first" to actually step up to the plate and do it, giving the Board the input and support they will need -- and deserve.

How far should the net be cast? The idea of a "nationwide search" seems a bit excessive, but we should learn from experience that hiring from a local pool has its shortcomings, too.

Now that the decks have been cleared, it's time to gear up and get moving.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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