Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville board wants new superintendent under contract in early February

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The search is on for a new leader of the Westerville City School District.

The Westerville Board of Education has hired the Ohio School Boards Association to conduct the search for a replacement for Superintendent Dan Good.

Good announced last month that he will retire from his post effective June 30.

The board also has opened a survey to the public to help determine what qualities board members should look for in candidates for the post.

The survey is available on the district's website, wcsoh.org, and in every school office. The deadline for completing the survey is Nov. 30.

Also over the next month, the Ohio School Boards Association will be marketing the open position and soliciting applications.

The applications will be due to the district Dec. 11, and the school board will begin reviewing them the following week, said school board President Kevin Hoffman.

The hope is to begin interviews of potential candidates the week of Jan. 7 and to have a new superintendent hired by early February, Hoffman said.

"Nobody's signed up for that as a requirement, but that's the goal," Hoffman said.

That means the district would have a new superintendent months before Good vacates the post, allowing for a smooth transition to a new leader and also providing whomever is hired with an opportunity to leave his or her current position.

"There's the opportunity for transition, and also the fact that, realistically, many of the candidates we might select might potentially are employed as a superintendent or in a leadership role in another district," Hoffman said. "There's time for transition. There's time for them to serve out their current role."

As the board did before hiring Good in 2007, the board plans to involve the community in the hiring process, using the survey and -- once finalists for the position are selected -- offering a public vetting of those candidates.

"It is important to get the feedback of the community as we make this important decision," Hoffman said. "(The survey is) a good gauge of what is important to the community as a whole.

"Hopefully, the next superintendent will be here after some or all of the current board members have finished up their terms, so it's important to have someone who's aligned with the wants and needs of the community."

The board also used the Ohio School Boards Association to conduct its 2007 superintendent search and used the group again last year as it hired Treasurer Bart Griffith.

For its $6,900 fee, plus the cost of expenses, the OSBA will provide profile development, market the position, recruit candidates, prescreen applicants, provide reference checks and conduct interviews.

The board was pleased with the OSBA's process of involving the community in its last superintendent search, Hoffman said, and the hope is to replicate the process this time around.

"It was a fairly effective process. It was fairly broad and gave people the opportunity to participate," he said. "It is such an important role; we want to make sure we do our due diligence."

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