HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Only a small group attended one of a series of meetings in USD 308 to gain input on the qualities of a new superintendent.
The board wants to hire a new superintendent for the 2019-20 school year in January. As part of the process, the board is gathering information on attributes the community wants in the next superintendent.
Attendees Thursday morning were asked to gather in groups and give their thoughts on four questions. That included describing the most important leadership and personal qualities. They were also asked to describe the strengths and good points of the district that a new superintendent would need to understand and support, the most critical needs of the district and finally the single characteristic or quality that would separate the best candidate from other high-quality candidates.
Some of the answers included being decisive in decision making, working in the community, becoming a part of it, transparency, and being an innovative thinker. One person even suggested the new hire should be a clone of Gary Price, the acting superintendent.
The district is working with the Kansas Association of School Boards. Craig Wilford, a field services specialist and Derby’s former superintendent, was one of the association’s representatives to lead the group.
He was asked what they hope to gain from these meetings:
He told the group that some of their thoughts were already mentioned in a meeting with some of the district staff. He was asked if using a patron group was common when searching for superintendents in other districts:
He was also asked if anything he’s heard so far has surprised him:
There will be another face-to-face community meeting with Wilford and Gary Sechrist on Nov. 26.
Wilford says they’ll give their findings to the board on that date and then start vetting potential candidates in December. They will then meet in executive session with the board on their recommendation on Jan. 4.