The Bexley City School District's search for a new superintendent will continue to include community input, according to school board members and representatives from the firm conducting the search.

The Bexley City School District's search for a new superintendent will continue to include community input, according to school board members and representatives from the firm conducting the search.

Superintendent Mike Johnson will retire at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Beginning in March 2017, the board of education is scheduled to begin interviewing candidates to replace Johnson, and the public will have an opportunity to sit in at least one of the interviews and provide feedback, board members say.

During a Dec. 12 meeting, board members and representatives from HYA Executive Search, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based firm, reviewed the results of focus groups and online surveys conducted last month. Those results included input from faculty, staff, parents, students and community members.

"The people that we need to get input from have been well-represented," board President Melissa Lacroix said. "The process has been very open."

HYA Executive Search used the information gathered last month to compile a list of top characteristics that the community believes is necessary for the next superintendent to possess, including:

* Fostering a climate of mutual respect among faculty, staff and administrators.

* Listening to and representing the interests of students, staff, parents and community members.

* Holding a deep appreciation for diversity and the importance of providing safe and caring school environments.

* Leading in an encouraging, participatory and team-focused manner.

* Having a clear vision of what is required to provide exemplary educational services and implement effective change.

Board member Alissha Mitchell said an emphasis should be placed on valuing diversity so that the successful candidate will be responsive to all students' needs.

"I would not want to miss the opportunity to make that very clear to a candidate ... that is a value that this district is not only committed to, but intends to look for a candidate (who) has that same sort of value system," she said.

HYA Executive Search representatives James Morse and Edward Tivador said they will use the board's feedback to update the superintendent search criteria and will post the criteria and the interview timeline, including the dates of meetings open to the public, to the district's website, bexleyschools.org.

"What we're going to do is take this blueprint and we're going to use this as a way to recruit and also talk with people about this position over the next couple of months," Morse said.

For more information, visit bexleyschools.org.

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