Superintendent Search

From MMSD, BOE president Arlene Sliveira

Community input sought for new superintendent qualities

An Invitation to Our Parents, Students and Community

The Board of Education has initiated its search for a new superintendent of schools to replace Art Rainwater, who has announced his retirement as of June, 2008. To provide counsel to us in this important process, we have retained the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd., a search firm that specializes in assisting boards with the identification and selection of superintendents.

A very important step in this process is the identification of the characteristics we will be seeking in our new superintendent. We invite you to participate in the identification of these characteristics by attending a Community Information and Input Session and/or completing a Leadership Profile Assessment form which can be found below.

The Community Information and Input Sessions, which will be facilitated by a member of the consultant firm, will be held on:

Wed. Sept. 19 at 10:00 a.m. at the Exhibition Hall at Alliant Energy Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way)
Wed. Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium at Memorial High School
Thu. Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium at La Follette High School
These sessions will likely be 60 to 90 minutes in length. Every effort will be made to provide Spanish and Hmong interpreters. You can avoid a parking fee by telling the parking attendant that you are attending a Madison School District function.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this most important task.

Arlene Silveira
President, Board of Education

Spanish of text above
Hmong of text above
Leadership Profile Assessment Form
The forms below are the same. You can either,

complete a form and submit it electronically,
print the form , complete it by hand, and either bring it with you to one of the Community Information and Input Sessions or mail/fax it to the address/fax number indicated on the form.
All forms must be submitted by September 20.

More information
Superintendent Search Process — news release
Community input sought for new superintendent qualities — news release

I just gave it my first try — this is hard!

The form is OK, although I have problems with some items and problems with the whole rank 1-14 approach (I’d much rather rank each item on a scale, say 1-5 than give an absolute 1-14 weight). This item:

Understands the respective, yet complementary, roles of the Board and the Superintendent

really bugs me. The implication is that this is fixed and absolute. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be. The individuals involved and the circumstances they face create a dynamic that continually changes. The line between undue deference to administrators and micromanagement by Board members isn’t clear and never will be. With only 14 items, this is a waste of space and time. What would it tell anyone if we all rated this #1 (or #14)? A waste.

The toughest one is:

Tell us your vision for the School District for the future.

That’s the one that made me give up and decide to go back later after some thought.

What’s your reaction (use the comments)?

Thomas J. Mertz

1 Comment

Filed under AMPS, Best Practices, Contracts, Local News

One response to “Superintendent Search

  1. Deb Gilbert

    I’ve been carefully composing my input on this as well.

    The questions really require thoughtful input and answers shouldn’t be whipped out during a public meeting.

    The ranking of items 1-14 has questionable value. Most items will likely average out to the same result, but perhaps there will be some outliers. It might have been informative to allow comments on these criteria. Regardless, I have approached this exercise by using grouping to aid my ranking.

    I hope the online form has plenty of room for a response to the vision item. I’m using this to emphasize characterisics of the district which need to be held strong.

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