District seek­ing pub­lic’s in­put

Downingtown su­per­in­ten­dent search on­go­ing af­ter Lawrence Mus­so­line an­nounced his re­tire­ment plans

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Gin­ger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

In an ef­fort to find a new Downingtown Area School District su­per­in­ten­dent af­ter Lawrence Mus­so­line re­tires, there will be meet­ings for pub­lic in­put dur­ing the search.

Mem­bers of the school district com­mu­nity are in­vited to dis­cuss their ex­pec­ta­tions for the su­per­in­ten­dent by at­tend­ing a fo­cus group fa­cil­i­tated by the Ch­ester County In­ter­me­di­ate Unit (CCIU). The fo­cus group will be held on Oct. 24 from 7-8 p.m. at the Downingtown Area School

District’s ad­min­is­tra­tive build­ing at 540 Tres­tle Place in East Caln. In ad­di­tion, the district is hold­ing a spe­cial fo­cus group on Fri­day for se­nior cit­i­zens from 10-11 a.m. at the ad­min­is­tra­tive build­ing.

“Se­cur­ing an out­stand­ing su­per­in­ten­dent for the Downingtown Area School District who will con­tinue to cre­ate a first-class ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem for our stu­dents and our com­mu­nity is the board’s top pri­or­ity,” said Colleen Cran­ney, pres­i­dent of the Downingtown Area School Board. “We en­cour­age the pub­lic to be in­volved in the process. This is an open in­vi­ta­tion for our com­mu­nity to share their thoughts and ideas on what the new su­per­in­ten­dent should bring to our district.”

The hopes and con­cerns ex­pressed dur­ing the fo­cus group will be used to de­velop a can­di­date pro­file and in­ter­view ques­tions. A to­tal of 15 fo­cus group ses­sions will be con­ducted with district stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing par­ents, staff, stu­dents, se­nior cit­i­zens and the com­mu­nity at large. Par­ents, stu­dents and staff have been in­vited to the fo­cus groups via the district’s email no­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem. For a full listing of the fo­cus groups, visit the district web­site at www. dasd.org.

In­ter­ested par­tic­i­pants may regis­ter on­line at www. cciu.org/DASD. Reg­is­tra­tion is not re­quired. In case of in­clement weather, par­tic­i­pants

who regis­ter will be no­ti­fied via email and tele­phone of can­cel­la­tion.

The CCIU has been se­lected by the Downingtown school board mem­bers to con­duct the district’s su­per­in­ten­dent search. The CCIU also con­ducted the search that brought Mus­so­line to Downingtown seven years ago.

“We are hon­ored to be given the op­por­tu­nity to as­sist the Downingtown Area School District in this capacity,” Joseph O’Brien, CCIU ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said in a state­ment. “Fo­cus groups are a vi­tal as­pect of our search. I en­cour­age the com­mu­nity to at­tend, share their thoughts and help us find the best can­di­date for the job.”

CCIU rep­re­sen­ta­tives said the search team is also com­mu­ni­cat­ing with stake­hold­ers via email and web­site up­dates, for ex­am­ple. Com­mu­nity mem­bers who are un­able to at­tend a fo­cus group, but who are still in­ter­ested in shar­ing their thoughts, can di­rect their com­ments to DASDSup­tSearch@cciu.org.

Mus­so­line an­nounced in July his re­tire­ment set for the end of this 2016-17 school year. His res­ig­na­tion will be ef­fec­tive when his con­tract with the district ex­pires June 30, 2017.

Ap­pointed by the school board mem­bers in 2009, Mus­so­line over­saw the open­ing of two Downingtown schools – the Downingtown STEM Acad­emy and the Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Cen­ter.

Un­der his lead­er­ship, the district has be­come one of the top-ranked school dis­tricts

in the state and in the na­tion. STEM Acad­emy be­came the No. 1 high school in Penn­syl­va­nia for two con­sec­u­tive years with all three Downingtown high schools named to the Wash­ing­ton Post list of most chal­leng­ing high schools in Amer­ica. Downingtown is the largest school district in Ch­ester County with 16 schools.

Mus­so­line has worked in Penn­syl­va­nia pri­vate and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion for more than 35 years as a teacher and ad­min­is­tra­tor. This is his eighth year as the Downingtown su­per­in­ten­dent.

“I would like to thank mem­bers of the Downingtown Area School District board of ed­u­ca­tion, the ad­min­is­tra­tive team, the teacher team, the sup­port staff, par­ents and com­mu­nity for al­low­ing me the honor to serve the chil­dren of the greater Downingtown Area,” Mus­so­line wrote in his no­tice of res­ig­na­tion. “It is with great pride and ad­mi­ra­tion to ev­ery­one com­pris­ing this bound­less school sys­tem that I pass the man­tle of lead­er­ship to an­other gen­er­a­tion of vi­sion­ar­ies.”

Mus­so­line grad­u­ated from Blooms­burg Univer­sity in 1979, re­ceived his Mas­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion de­gree from Ship­pens­burg Univer­sity in 1983 and in 1998 earned a doc­tor­ate in ed­u­ca­tional ad­min­is­tra­tion from Penn State Univer­sity.

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