Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard City Schools District might hire help for superintendent search

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Hilliard school board members are considering using professional services to find a successor to Superintendent Dale McVey, who will retire June 30.

The board members heard presentations Nov. 5 from the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and the Ohio School Boards Association.

Board members made no decision at the conclusion of the meeting.

School board President Lisa Whiting said the board members will not hear proposals from any other providers and will decide at the next meeting which, if any, provider it will choose.

The next scheduled board meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the annex of the district's administrative offices.

If specific candidates for the job are considered, such discussion would occur in an executive session.

While board members did not indicate Nov. 5 a preference between using a search service and finding a new superintendent on their own, they did share some opinions about how soon a superintendent should be named.

Board member Doug Maggied, responding to a scenario of hiring late in the current school year, called such a situation "problematic."

Maggied said waiting until nearly the end of this school year was not an option.

A new superintendent should be named at least four to six weeks before the end of the school year, Maggied said, and should shadow McVey before his retirement.

Bill Reimer was the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio representative to address the Hilliard school district.

"You are a prime district for someone to want to be superintendent," Reimer said.

Reimer outlined search services that included identifying and contacting the best qualified candidates.

In addition to posting the open position, Reimer said the ESC would "go after the best."

Reimer said the best candidates for the job are often superintendents who "are happy and not looking (to relocate)."

"They have a great job working with a great board ... but we want to see if they might have an interest in coming to Hilliard," Reimer said.

Reimer told board members the Dublin school district has a contract with ESC to help find a replacement for Superintendent David Axner, who has accepted a position with the Ohio Board of Education.

"We go after the best we can get for each district and while each district has different needs, all want excellence," Reimer said.

Often, Reimer said, candidates who are not initially tapped for superintendent become district leaders later in their careers.

Three candidates who were finalists when Dublin chose Axner are now superintendents of other central Ohio school districts, Reimer said.

Cheryl Ryan, deputy director of school board services for the Ohio School Boards Association, provided a similar presentation to Hilliard board members.

She highlighted services such as profile development, candidate recruitment, candidate screening and evaluation.

The estimated fee of the Ohio School Boards Association is $6,900 plus expenses.

The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio estimated a range of fees, based on services provided, from $3,250 to $7,750.

The search process generally takes 90 to 120 days, Reimer said.

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