Super Searching

If all goes according to plan, the Warren County School District will have selected its next superintendent by Aug. 1.

The school district’s board of directors met with Tom Templeton, assistant executive director of School Board and Management Services with the Pennsylvania School Board Association, in a special meeting Monday night.

“Tonight marks the beginning of the search,” Templeton said.

During the meeting, he sought feedback from the board regarding the specific skills and abilities that the members wished to place a special emphasis on during the search process.

He proposed a doctoral degree and central office experience as two potential options to the board.

“I don’t think a doctorate has to be a requirement,” Board Vice President Donna Zariczny said. “I think the central office experience should be there.”

Board member Dr. Paul Yourchisin agreed. “(A) doctorate really limits us,” he said.

Board member John Grant clarified central office experience. “The main thing we need is leadership,” he said. “Central office leadership said a whole lot more than (they) had an office in central office.”

Templeton then asked for the board to identify five to six characteristics that it would like PSBA to focus on in the advertisement.

Board member Mary Anne Paris proposed “effectively communicates with district stakeholders. (We’ve) tried to pride ourselves on being transparent here.”

Board President Arthur Stewart selected two characteristics that were “weighted heavily toward the educational focus,” including a sincere interest in the personal development of young people and knowledge of research and practices in education.

Zariczny said the candidates should be “committed to continuous improvement for teachers” and staff. “Because of all the budgetary issues we’ve been running into, the ability to maximize human and financial resources” is essential.

Paris noted that the candidate should have “experience in construction and renovations projects. Obviously, we have three major projects going on. (It) should be mentioned.”

“Not only three major projects, (but we) have alternate funding going on with those projects,” Zariczny added, referring to the low-to-no interest federal bonds that are subsidizing the project.

Stewart explained that a community survey was performed during the last superintendent search “to see what the community was looking for. One of the things the community said was that they wanted the superintendent to live in the community.”

Templeton said that information such as that is not typically included in the advertisement which is “simply trying to articulate the leadership qualities you are looking for.”

However, an additional public survey will be completed later in the process to “check the pulse again.”

Templeton explained that, ideally, the advertisement will circulate for approximately seven weeks. He asked the board when it envisions concluding the search.

Stewart said the board has discussed having the next superintendent in board by the beginning of the next academic year with Aug. 1 the “latest we had anticipated.”