Board seeks community input for superintendent search

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Feb. 5, 2013

The Hebron Board of Education and the Cooperative Educational Services (CES) executive search team are embarking on two separate initiatives designed to “identify leadership characteristics and attributes that the community finds important to the success of the new superintendent of schools.”

“All school staff and community members are encouraged to attend a focus group meeting and/or complete the brief online survey,” reads the release. The survey, posted on Jan. 22, was scheduled to run through Feb. 6. It offered respondents an opportunity to weigh in regarding the characteristics and skills most important for the district’s new superintendent. The first question, for example, asked respondents to identify the three most important prior professional experiences for the new superintendent from among the following list: superintendent of schools, school principal, classroom teacher, central office administrator, central office supervisor, private sector management/leadership, or other.

Focus groups, scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 11, are intended for “those individuals who wish to participate and to engage in more in-depth discussion of the desired leadership profile for the new superintendent and related topics,” according to the press release. The focus group sessions will be conducted by CES.

“Board members won’t be at the groups,” explained Board of Education Chair Kathy Shea. Shea pointed out that this was a deliberate decision. “The board has already had the opportunity to weigh in,” she said, explaining that the focus groups were intended to provide members of the community an opportunity to openly voice their opinions.

“All members of the Hebron community are invited to participate in this important step in the search for a new superintendent,” reads the release. The data collected from the survey and the focus groups will be compiled and organized by CES executive search consultant Dr. H. Kaye Griffin and published in a report that will be posted on the district web site. Shea said that the results will be used to develop a job description as the district moves forward with the search process. She pointed out that press releases have been run in numerous publications, and that the board’s intent was to allow as many community members to weigh in as possible.

Focus groups begin on Feb. 11 and are intended to reach parents, other Hebron residents and district personnel. A full list of sessions can be accessed on the district’s website at hebron.k12.ct.us.

CES was selected by the BOE to conduct a comprehensive search for a new superintendent of schools after the previous superintendent, Eleanor Cruz, resigned to accept a new position in December. Former Gilead Hill School principal Kathryn Veronesi is currently serving as interim superintendent. A new superintendent will be selected by the BOE this spring, “and should anticipate beginning employment on or before July 1,” reads the release. “A total compensation package will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.” Those interested in the position or in the search can find more information at hebron.k12.ct.us.


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