Update: search firms and candidates - you're welcome.
end of update.
The Board had a meeting of the entire group (without Carr) to discuss how to look for a superintendent. It was a lot of logistics talk about finding the right search firm.
(I will try to get a electronic copy of the document they were working off of from Erin Bennett.)
They will be putting out an RFP around October 3rd and will decide on a firm by early December. There was no firm date for the applications to go out for superintendent.
The discussion was largely around finding a search firm. I was a bit disappointed to hear they want to hire one because of the cost but I suppose it's too huge an undertaking to do on their own.
Legal counsel Ron English pointed out some items that would cost extra but possibly be of great use (like a Board member going with a search team member to visit a current superintendent's school).
Director Peters asked about how much salary might be weighted in a candidate's mind. English said it was hard to know because there are other factors a candidate might be considering but that a competitive salary was important.
Director Peaslee asked that a "background check" be included in the request for professional and personal references.
Mr. English said in picking the search firm, it was important to be sure that the firm is sending its "A" team and not some "junior" person.
They are looking at a firm's qualifications, experience, references and awareness and understanding of SPS and the region.
Ms. Bennett mentioned asking firms to call out how and when they would conduct community engagement. Director McLaren said maybe they should "state their desires" for community engagement but Mr. English said it might be better to make it bland so as to see what the firms write in their application about community engagement.
Director Blanford said a "strong NW presence" would be good but that they needed to identify national candidates as well. He said "We need a strong superstar superintendent from wherever we can get them."
I would disagree on this point. I firmly believe that for urban districts (small, medium or large and Seattle is considered medium), that most people who are applying are now guns for hire. Many of them have desire to be long-term superintendents. I think both the late Maria Goodloe-Johnson and former super Jose Banda are good examples. This new breed of superintendent goes from place to place getting things done on paper but they leave before any real results come out.
We don't need any more superintendents who are more interested in their career than the district.
The discussion went on about finding someone from the Western part of the U.S. (whether the West Coast or NW).
They were going thru the criteria and, at this stage, are going to weight firms' criteria like this:
- references 10% (but if they are bad, a candidate firm would be tossed out)
- awareness of Seattle/SPS, 10%
- approach to the work, 20%
- experience 20%
- qualifications, 20%
- capabilities, 20%