The whole Executive Committee meeting today was about the superintendent search and nothing else.
In addition to the regular members of the committee, Michael DeBell, Kay Smith-Blum, and Betty Patu, the meeting was joined by Marty McLaren and Sharon Peaslee in person and Harium Martin-Morris by phone from Olympia. Sherry Carr was the only board member who could not be in attendance.
In addition to the Board, also present at the meeting were District General Counsel Ron English, the board staff, Brian Rosenthal of the Seattle Times, Cecilia McCormick, and I. Mr. Brewster of Crosscut did not grace us with his presence. Too bad he missed it; he could have seen how stable it was. There was a lot of strong agreement among all of the Board members and they worked very well together.
The bulk of the meeting was a conference call with the search firm. They settled on a timetable, the wording of the ad, and some details of the process - there will be five finalists. The Superintendent Search Committee consists of the seven board members and four others: one representative each from PASS, SEA, SCPTSA, and the central administration. Consultants from the search firm will be in Seattle in early February to conduct one-on-one interviews about what folks want in a superintendent. They will meet with each of the eleven members of the committee plus two students, two classroom teachers, the entire current superintendent's cabinet (Susan Enfield, Noel Treat, Pegi McEvoy, Bob Boesche, and Cathy Thompson), a representative from local 609, and a representative from the Special Education PTA. That's twenty-one interviews which is plenty. I really like this list. Neither Melissa Westbrook nor I should be included and neither should Lynne Varner or Sara Morris. We all had the opportunity to provide our input through the survey.
The search firm, by the way, is taking some guidance from the survey. They are also very aware of the level of involvement the community takes in our public schools.
I know that some folks are concerned that we're a bit late in the race and that all of the good superintendents will be gone by the time we get there. Don't worry. Our ad will go into the edition of Ed Week that comes out just before the big National School District Superintendent's Conference. In addition, the search firm will have an ad in the conference guide inviting folks to contact them at the conference if they are interested in any of the different districts they are working with, including Seattle. We're right on time and moving fast.