School Board OKs Superintendent Candidate Profile

by Charlie Comfort

Oskaloosa, Iowa- The Oskaloosa School board took several steps forward in the search for a new superintendent at a special school board meeting this past week.

On Thursday, the board met with staff members of Ray and Associates, the firm the district has retained to aid them in the search for a new superintendent. The issue for the board to tackle was that of a profile for superintendent candidates. The profile is based on data compiled during stakeholder meetings, as well as an online survey.

According to Linda Brock, regional search director for Ray and Associates, 565 total responses to the survey were received, and an additional stakeholder meeting was well attended. Brock said the response was very encouraging.

“We’re very pleased with that. That’s a bigger number than several we usually see,” Brock said.

Brock said that one thing that was common across the board in the stakeholder groups and the surveys was that people felt there was a need for more communication, and for there to be more action on creating a more positive school climate.

“That isn’t always the case. I don’t remember another district where it was so clear that everybody was on the same page like this,” Brock said.

Board member Erik Edgren expressed his belief that it should be conveyed to all superintendent candidates that the board expects the next superintendent to run a tight ship on student discipline in the school district.

“When we’re in this search, the next superintendent needs to know that the board expects a tight ship to be run, and that in the end that comes, they’re the CEO of the district, which comes down to that we do expect, in all buildings, for discipline to be strict and fair,” Edgren said.

Brock and Ned Sellers, of Ray and Associates, added that that is something the board can certainly address in subsequent stakeholder and board member interviews with superintendent candidates.

Ultimately, the board settled on 12 attributes for superintendent candidates, including:
Is willing to listen to input, but is a decision maker.
Inspires trust, has high levels of self-confidence and optimism, and models high standards of integrity and personal performance.
Possesses excellent people skills and is a strong communicator; speaking, listening and writing and presents a positive image of the district.
Has experience recruiting and maintaining exceptional staff for the district and schools.
Is able to delegate authority appropriately while maintaining accountability.
Previous experience that will benefit the long-term financial health of the district.
Is strongly committed to a “student-first” philosophy in all decisions.
Has experience in the selection and implementation of educational priorities consistent with the interests and needs of students, staff, board, and community.
Is committed to the importance of both academic and activity programs.
Promotes positive student behavior conducive to a healthy learning environment.
Is able to identify and select building and central office administrators who are capable of advancing the district vision.
Has knowledge of emerging research and best practice in the area of curriculum/instructional design; practices and possesses the ability to enhance student performance, especially in identifying and closing or narrowing the gaps in student achievement.
Promotes a positive and professional environment for district employees and the Board.

Those 12 attributes will help guide the search firm in the applicant phase of the search.

“That’s what will drive what Ned and I do now. When we start screening applicants and talking to people, these are the things that we will keep in mind,” Brock said.

What’s next in the search process? The 12 attributes identified in the survey and stakeholder meetings have been designed into an informational flier about the Oskaloosa school district that will be posted on job boards, which is one method used by Ray and Associates during the application phase of the search.

Applications are being accepted until April 5 for the position. After that, the board will meet on April 16 to discuss developing questions for the interview phases of the search, and to also identify “top candidates”. Initial candidate interviews are set to occur the week of April 23.

Posted by on Mar 10 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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