By Betsy Dolan
Community opinion will be a vital part of the process as the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees begin looking for the district’s next superintendent.
Last month the Board hired Hazzard, Young & Attea (HYA), a national superintendent search firm, known for their extensive community outreach in the search process.
“We have found that in doing well over 1,000 searches now that every search is different. Every organization that is seeking a superintendent or an assistant superintendent or business official or principal is different,” Bill Attea of HYA said. “You need to tailor the search and go out and find the people that fit the profile so to speak, fit the DNA of the district or the school or the position and bring candidates that fit that DNA.”
HYA’s first step is to create a leadership profile of the ideal candidate. Community members can take an on-line survey on Fort Bend ISD’s web site, look at a detailed list and choose eight characteristics that are must-haves for the next superintendent. The survey allows community members to provide their opinion about the challenges facing the district in the coming years.
Later this month, Attea and his team will talk one-on-one with each of the trustees and conduct 25 to 30 “input” sessions with various community groups such as teachers, civic organizations, students and district staff. HYA will take all of the information from the input sessions as well as the data from the online survey and use it to create the leadership profile.
“We want to know what they value in the schools because we want to make sure the new superintendent’s skill set can build upon the district’s strengths,” Attea said. “We will also want to make sure we’re focusing on those emerging issues that might impact the district five years down the road.”
After the leadership profile is complete and has been approved by the board, HYA will begin searching for candidates who match the profile using an extensive network of contacts and placement of online and print ads in trade magazines. The hope is to interview five candidates in early February.
The Board initially wanted to have a new superintendent hired in January but were told by HYA that a typical superintendent search takes 3-4 months.
Superintendent Dr. Timothy Jenney was released from his contract in July after deciding he wanted to retire. He had enough sick leave and vacation time accrued to leave the position immediately.
Mike McKie, who is the Acting Superintendent, is not participating in the superintendent search discussions.