Dublin Villager

Superintendent search

Dublin community mirrors board on traits of new school chief

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Dublin City Schools are moving closer to forming a vision of the next superintendent.

Bill Reimer of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio this week outlined the outcome of a community survey seeking input on the superintendent search for board of education members.

The district is utilizing the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio in its search for a replacement for current Superintendent David Axner, who will leave later this year to be assistant executive director of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.

A survey was sent to community members to gage what "characteristics, knowledge and skills to have to be the next superintendent and to be successful," Reimer told board members.

"You had really excellent participation by the community," Reimer said, noting more than 400 community members answered the survey.

Even though the Dublin City School District has many more than 400 members, Reimer said compared to participation in other districts, the number of completed Dublin surveys was high.

Reimer also said many of the answers from the community lined up with those from board members.

"You, as a board, are tuned into your community," he said.

Both community members and board members said the new superintendent should engage the board and key staff members, create and execute a plan, work towards effective communication, promptly respond to communication requests and keep the public informed.

Other elements identified for the next superintendent included promoting the appropriate use of technology among students, leadership, coalition building in the community and providing high-quality professional development for staff, Reimer said.

The elements identified by community and board members will be used to finalize a profile for the next superintendent.

For now, the Education Service Center of Central Ohio and a few board members are talking to "targeted individuals" about the position, Reimer said.

The superintendent position is posted and Reimer said resumes will be accepted through mid-February.

The remainder of February and beginning of March will be used for screening and initial interviews, with final interviews expected by the end of March.

Reimer expects an offer to go out in late March, with the board of education formally approving the new superintendent at the first meeting in April.

School safety

In other district news, a parent addressed board members about his concerns with school safety during the Jan. 14 meeting.

Kurt Foster said he's seen better security at Hilliard City Schools and has walked into a Dublin elementary school with no trouble.

Axner said the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has brought school security to the forefront, especially at elementary schools.

"It's a wake up call to everybody," Axner said.

Some district policies have not been used uniformly at every school and the district is working on that along with other ideas, district officials said.

"It will be more inconvenient to parents and visitors coming to schools," Axner said, noting changes will be apparent soon.

Officers elected

In other board news, Chris Valentine was again elected as president of the board.

Gwen Callender will be vice president.

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