In­put sought for su­per­in­ten­dent search

Record Observer - - School - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@ches­pub.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion has be­gun the search for a new su­per­in­ten­dent. On Oct. 5, stake­hold­ers, com­mu­nity mem­bers, par­ents and staff are in­vited to meet with the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion to help guide the search process.

At the Sep­tem­ber meet­ing, the board heard from Bill Mid­dle­ton from Mar yland As­so­ci­a­tion of Boards of Ed­u­ca­tion — the in­de­pen­dent third party hired by the board to as­sist in the search for a new su­per­in­ten­dent.

Mid­dle­ton ad­vised the board that al­though MABE and the stake­hold­ers had no vote re­gard­ing the hir­ing of a new su­per­in­ten­dent, in­put from stake­hold­ers was crit­i­cal and must be com­plied with, pro­vid­ing at least two op­por­tu­ni­ties for stake­hold­ers to pro­vide feed­back.

“The process is a lengthy one,” said Mid­dle­ton, “for iden­ti­fy­ing the best school leader for your school sys­tem ... I an­tic­i­pate this process to be com­plete for us around April (2017).”

MABE will hold a stake­holder in­put ses­sion on Oct. 5 at the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion build­ing, 202 Ch­ester­field Av­enue in Cen­tre­ville. A 4 p.m. ses­sion will be held for em­ploy­ees, and a 6:30 p.m. ses­sion will be held for the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to par­ents, stu­dents, com­mu­nity mem­bers, busi­ness lead­ers, pub­lic of­fi­cials — who­ever would like to have in­put. Both ses­sions will take place in the board room.

“The board needs to iden­tify the cri­te­ria for a su­per­in­ten­dent up front,” said Mid­dle­ton, “and ex­press those cri­te­ria to their stake­hold­ers.”

The po­si­tion will be ad­ver­tised lo­cally and na­tion­wide for 30 to 45 days and ap­pli­ca­tions will be sub­mit­ted di­rectly to MABE. The board sees all the ap­pli­ca­tions, said Mid­dle­ton, and first round in­ten­sive in­ter­views along with back­ground and ref­er­ence checks are com­pleted by MABE and the school board.

Af­ter a sec­ond in­ter view, fi­nal­ists will be se­lected and spend a day in the county vis­it­ing schools and meet­ing with staff, stu­dents and stake­hold­ers. Fo­cus groups cre­ated by the board from within the school sys­tem and com­mu­nity will have the op­por­tu­nity to meet with each fi­nal­ist.

Dur­ing both of the in­put ses­sions on Oct. 5, par­tic­i­pants will be pro­vided a brief pre­sen­ta­tion about the su­per­in­ten­dent search, will par­tic­i­pate in group dis­cus­sions, and will be asked to an­swer three ques­tions: What things make Queen Anne’s County a spe­cial place to work, live and learn? What char­ac­ter­is­tics/ qual­i­fi­ca­tions do you want in a new su­per­in­ten­dent? What are some chal­lenges a new su­per­in­ten­dent will face in up­com­ing years?

The an­swers to th­ese ques­tions, said Mid­dle­ton, will help with the re­cruit­ing process and in nar­row­ing down fi­nal­ists. All in­put re­ceived by the board will be taken into care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, said Mid­dle­ton.

Ul­ti­mately, the state su­per­in­ten­dent must ap­prove the fi­nal se­lec­tion and the board must meet in pub­lic ses­sion to vote and ap­point a new su­per­in­ten­dent, said Mid­dle­ton.

The board said they will use re­sponses to th­ese ques­tions to shape the re­cruit­ing process for a new su­per­in­ten­dent. The po­si­tion of the su­per­in­ten­dent for Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools will be ad­ver­tised start­ing in Novem­ber with ap­pli­ca­tions due by the end of Jan­uary. The new su­per­in­ten­dent would start work on July 1, 2017.

The reg­u­larly sched­uled monthly board meet­ing will be held Oct. 12 with open ses­sion be­gin­ning at 6 p.m. at the Cen­tral Of­fice in the board meet­ing room. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.qacps.org or call 410-758-2403.

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