Ad Hoc Group Recommends National Search for Schools Merger Leader

By Bill Dries

A committee of countywide school board members and community leaders is recommending that the school board hire a search firm and conduct a national search for the superintendent of the merged school system.

The ad hoc committee made that first decision and several others on the process at a meeting Thursday, Sept. 13.

The group also voted to begin as soon as possible through the staffs of both school systems to get the qualifications of search firms in a request for qualifications process.

Committee chairman Chris Caldwell said he will see how much of that can get started without the approval of the full board. The full board could discuss that part of the process as early as next Tuesday’s school board work session.

The recommendations of the ad hoc committee on the search process go to the full school board for its approval and then the selection process would begin.

The board could change or contradict the recommendations.

The committee has heard estimates that a search involving a firm could take at least six months from its beginning to the hiring of a superintendent. The cost estimates range from $50,000 to $200,000.

The group’s work on a set of recommendations isn’t complete. The committee is still working out what additional standards or requirements it might want applicants to meet that it will also take to the full board.