Board of Education: Launching the superintendent search in Eagle County (column)
October 25, 2017
The Eagle County Schools Board of Education has started the important task of hiring our next superintendent. We are grateful to have Dr. Maggie Lopez as our interim superintendent for this school year. She, along with our talented administrative team, is working diligently to keep our district moving forward and getting us ready for our next leader.
Recruiting, developing and retaining great leaders and teachers is essential to improving student outcomes. The superintendent reports directly to the Board of Education as its only employee. The board sets the goals and objectives for the superintendent, reviews progress and conducts an annual performance evaluation. Among the board's most important duties is selecting a chief executive who will advance the priorities of the community and ensure all students reach their full potential.
While many of us serving on the current board have been through a superintendent selection process previously, we look at every hiring opportunity as a new and unique situation. In the selection of our next superintendent, we will carefully evaluate the desirable characteristics, skills and experience of the candidates based on current district needs, goals and aspirations.
Last spring, the Board of Education searched for and interviewed recruiting firms that would best focus on our needs and location, with a professionalism that came with the most cost-effective package. We selected Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA & Associates) to lead the search for our next superintendent. At our last board meeting, we met with representative from HYA & Associates to determine our timeline and process. For more information on the firm and its recruiting philosophy and process, visit ecragroup.com/leadership.
The most important step of this process is hearing from our stakeholders. Stakeholders are our community members, taxpayers, nonprofit partners, parents, teachers, staff and students. We value and need input from all stakeholders. The input gathered from our stakeholders will be compiled by HYA & Associates to form a leadership profile and desired characteristics. Learning what our stakeholders believe are important characteristics for our next superintendent will inform the posted job description and be used for screening applicants for our position.
We will have stakeholder meetings during the week of Monday, Nov. 6, in a variety of locations and at a variety of times to enable all of these stakeholders to give input. There will be two community meetings open to anyone who wants to learn about the process and give input. The community meetings will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Berry Creek Middle School at 7 p.m. and on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Brush Creek Elementary at 6:30 p.m. We will also be offering an online survey, which will be posted on the district website, for those unable to attend these meetings. We want to hear from you: What do you value in a leader?
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The important work of educating our children is best done when we work together with our schools and community focused on the best solutions for kids. For more information on the community meetings or to participate in the online survey, visit our website at http://www.eagleschools.net and look for the superintendent search posting on our homepage. We want to hear from you.
Tessa Kirchner is the vice president of the Eagle County Schools Board of Education.