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Beginning the RCS Superintendent Search 2012

October 9, 2012

With the resignation of former Rochester Community Schools superintendent Fred Clarke, the Board of Education has outlined the calendar and some changes to the process of selecting a superintendent.

The proposed changes include:

  • Site visits before finalist interviews – In the previous search, no site visits were done.  (Mrs. Geraldine Moore is the exception as she is at Rochester Community Schools.)  For this search, it is proposed that representatives of the Board of Education along with some members of the administration team and others will visit the school district of each finalist before the finalist interviews.
  • One day wait before decision – The Board of Education will wait until the night after the finalist interviews to make a decision on a superintendent.  In the previous search, a superintendent was selected immediately after the last candidate’s interview.  This will provide an opportunity for community feedback.  In my opinion, the Board could also use this to vet candidates’ statements.  The Board will select finalist candidates the same night as the last semifinalist interviews.
  • Reference checks – Each member of the Board will conduct at least two reference checks from the list of references provided by each candidate.  There will also be reference checks with other members of the candidate’s community that were not on the list.  In the previous search, only one Board member made reference checks for a candidate.
  • Community Meet & Greets – There may be a hosted reception prior to each interview for the community to meet the candidate in an informal manner.  I believe this will be for the finalist candidates only.
  • Writing sample change – There will be some change in the writing sample required of each candidate.  Last time, the board asked each finalist to outline in writing their vision for Rochester Community Schools and what they would implement if money were no object. Each candidate then submitted a memo in response.  Nothing was specified at this meeting, but may be in the next board packet.
  • Student involvement – The Board would find ways to incorporate more student involvement.  Nothing was specified at this meeting, but may be in the next board packet.
  • No community input on search criteria – Since the previous search was so recent, the Board of Education will not be seeking new input from the community regarding preferred characteristics of the new superintendent.

The proposed superintendent search calendar is:

  • December 12 – Review candidate pool and select semifinalists in a closed meeting
  • December 17 – Discuss and formally approve up to six semifinalists in an open Board of Education meeting
  • January 9 & 10 – Semifinalist interviews in a public meeting
  • January 14 – 18 – Site visits at districts of finalists
  • January 22 & 23 – Candidates visiting schools and meeting with constituent groups.  Finalist interviews in a public meeting
  • January 24 – Selection of superintendent.  I believe this will also be in a public meeting.

All changes and calendars are subject to modification by the Board of Education.

As we did previously, Rochester SAGE will be sending out questionnaires regarding gifted education to each of the semifinalists.  Most provided answers that were very insightful to their philosophy of education, particularly as it relates to gifted learners.  It also is useful in showing how they will interact with members of the community who approach them regarding a need in our schools.  There will also be an analysis of each candidate’s responses to questions on gifted education and a comparison of their current districts.

From the previous superintendent search:

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

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