Johnstown Independent

Public meeting

Northridge to gather input in search for new leader


The Northridge Local Board of Education and administration are seeking public guidance in the search for a new superintendent.

The community is invited to attend a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Northridge High School auditorium, along with a search consultant, to help develop a profile of leadership qualities for the new superintendent. Each participant will have an opportunity to complete a leadership profile assessment and participate in focus groups to rank the most important characteristics.

The meeting is expected to last less than an hour. All forms will be provided to the board for review.

"I am really looking forward to our public meeting next week, where the community can come out and give their input about what qualities they think the Northridge Local School (District) needs in the next superintendent," board member Jayma Bammerlin said. "The school board will be also getting feedback from all of our staff and teachers as to what they feel is important for the position."

She said interim Superintendent George Tombaugh would lead the meeting and help the district in its search.

"I, personally, have high on my list someone with good leadership skills, communications and a strong academic and curriculum background," Bammerlin said.

John Shepard resigned his superintendent position Sept. 14 but will remain with the district as educational operations consultant for the remainder of his contract, which expires July 31, 2013. He will work mainly from home.

Board member Doug Hart stressed that the Oct. 23 meeting would be merely the first step in a long process of finding the best candidate for a new, permanent superintendent.

"We're going to listen closely to what the public has to say," he said. "This (meeting) is purely information gathering."

He said he believes Tombaugh would provide forms to those who attend the meeting, listing possible criteria that people would expect a superintendent to possess.

Hart said it would not be a meeting at which people stand up and tell their opinions directly to the board.

"That would be chaos," he said.

After people complete the forms, Hart said, they likely will break into discussion groups.

"Dr. Tombaugh has been very successful with this for other districts," he said. "This is an important part of the process."

Hart said the information from this and future meetings would be used to create a master list of what's expected of a new superintendent. The master list will aid the board and search committee in the final decision, he said.