09/08/2014 – Superintendent Search Update

Jim McMahan (Superintendent Search Ad Hoc Committee Chair)
We have spent a few months informing the board of different research processes. Currently the update right now is: We’ve issue the RFP for national search firms on Thursday August 21st. We are currently receiving information and proposals from firms. The proposal deadline is Tuesday, Sept 16th.

On Wed Sept 17 we’ll have a public proposal acknowledgement. Mon Sept 22 the responsiveness, determinations and process management by our administration will be delivered to the board. From Sept 22 to the next board meeting scheduled on Oct 6, the board will conduct finalist interviews for the search firms.

Mr. Coleman received detailed information from our communities.

John Coleman
Mr. McMahan just talked about where we are in the RFQ in finding a search firm. One thing we’ve requested from different communities is that they give us input as we are proceeding along. A piece of input is that the Parent Council United, which works across DeKalb in multiple schools, sent us some detailed feedback. I’d like to offer that up now and offer up an invitation to other parent councils and community organizations. As you have concerns about this process or just want to provide input/feedback to this process, please email us or come to public comments. I believe we are going to here from some folks tonight. This is going to be your Superintendent too starting sometime next summer, so it’s important to hear from you.

This is feedback we received from the PCU. We don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but this is the kind of thing we are hearing.

They were hoping that parent councils would more broadly provide input. For instance, the Emory Lavista Parent Council is going to provide input after their October 15 meeting. They want to see transparency and accountability at every step of the process. We are fully committed to that as a board. They want the board to understand the history of Superintendent searches in DeKalb. All of which have gone extremely well from what I’ve heard. And that we are aware of that history so we can learn from that.

They would like to be involved in the selection of the search firm for a Superintendent, so their community members who operate as part of that process. We seen another district go through that recently. They had an independent search committee. They would at least like to see some community participation in that process irrespective of whether we use that search committee format.

They suggested we use that search committee format and meet with the person that led that search committee to get their perspective.

They suggested that the board members rolling off continue to participate in the selection process. Mr. Thurmond is smiling at me. I’m actually reading this from the email.

They provided very valuable input on the Superintendent. A few comments, they should have experience with charters, have experience with handling ethics, perhaps even an ethics committee and make sure we’re doing that well. Experience bringing together communities in a diverse system which is important. A risk taker, political savvy, able to take a stand on issues with the state legislature and should not speak in platitudes, cliches or education jargon. [this is met with laughter from the room]

Those are just a few points of feedback. I’m sure we’ll hear from others tonight.

Dr. Melvin Johnson (DeKalb Board Chair)
I’d like to thank the ad hoc committee for your work. I do want the public to know that this is a continuous process. The board will be making various decisions as we go along, but we will keep you informed.