Low turnout for Stafford MSD Superintendent Town Hall Meeting
By Karen Daniels
On March 5, SMSD Board of Trustees officially accepted the resignation of Dr. Lance Hindt who is now the Superintendent for Allen ISD. In an effort to know and understand the community’s input on what they’d like to see in the next leader of SMSD, a questionnaire was put together for the public to fill out. Hopefully parents of SMSD and community members of Stafford are submitting these online and the low turnout at the town hall meeting is not indicative of pubic interest. Jim Dunlap, a consultant with Arrow Educational Services and the current Superintendent to Hallsville ISD, conducted the meeting on March 19, at the Margaret Havens Library to further assist gathering the information.
Arrow Educational Services has handled over 125 searches for various districts in the State of Texas; 4 for Stafford MSD. The current board wants to make the hiring decision so the search is being fast-tracked due to the upcoming general elections on May 10th. The application deadline to apply for the job was March 21st. Interviews will be held from March 21st – April 2nd. On April 2nd the semi-finalists will be announced and additional interviews will be conducted. The lone-finalist will be announced on April 16th. In Texas there is a 21-day waiting period before the board can formally offer the job to the lone-finalist which would be May 7th.
At the town hall meeting, Mike Guerra, currently running for SMSD Board of Trustees, parents and community members that did show up provided valuable suggestions to Mr. Dunlap on what they are looking for in the next superintendent.
The following points were made at the meeting:
• Vested in Stafford – the community; • Won’t use SMSD as a stepping-stone;
• Create better culture for teacher retention; • Strong leadership skills with open door policy; • Financial knowledge of Chapter 41; • Establish relationships with local businesses; and • Firm command of instructional improvement.
The group had mixed opinions on whether the future superintendent should be required to actually live in Stafford. It was also mentioned that the volunteer numbers at SMSD have dropped significantly. One parent pointed out, “If the leader is involved with parents, parents will be involved with the school.” When the new superintendent is hired, his or her first job will be to hire a new CFO. Carla Merka submitted her resignation effective March 21st and will become the new Assistant Superintendant of Finance to Crosby ISD. The SMSD Board of Trustees, both current and future, will be very busy in the upcoming months.
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