Within 16 weeks, the New Albany-Plain Local School District officials hope to welcome a new superintendent.

Within 16 weeks, the New Albany-Plain Local School District officials hope to welcome a new superintendent.

Cindy Hilsheimer, managing principal of Columbus-based SC Search Consultants, on July 26 presented the New Albany-Plain Local school board with a timeline detailing the process.

She said her firm began by working with the board July 15 to identify community members who should be involved in the search. Questions are being developed for the first round of interviews, which will be done by a search committee that has yet to be formed.

"Board members are giving us lists of 'stakeholders,' and we're developing questions for our conversations (with candidates)," Hilsheimer said.

During the next four weeks, a recruitment profile must be developed. A community survey is possible, she said.

"During the actual recruitment profile, we will reach out to 75 'stakeholders' for their input and perspectives," Hilsheimer said. "We will then assess the need for a community survey."

Once the profile is completed and the board advertises it, candidates will be recruited and applications accepted during a four-week period. Hilsheimer said her firm will actively seek candidates nationwide and community members will be encouraged to nominate candidates.

Candidates will be screened and matched to the profile, with the search committee completing the first round of interviews. The board will complete second interviews and determine final candidates, who will be given a tour of the district. Hilsheimer said this third four-week period includes town meetings and public forums for community members to meet the finalists.

Background checks will be completed before an offer is made, Hilsheimer said.

Once the board has made a decision, a formal announcement will be made and another public meeting will be held to introduce the candidate to the community during the final four weeks, she said.

The list of "stakeholders" will include members of the faculty, staff and administration and boosters. Also invited to participate will be: residents and senior citizens; school families; foundation members; business leaders; chamber of commerce representatives; school alumni; representatives of homeowners associations; union members; members of local organizations like New Albany Women's Network and New Albany for Kids; and representatives of the village, Plain Township and Joint Park District.

Board vice president Laura Kohler said the board will receive updates from SC Search Consultants at each board meeting. The company and the district also expect to give updates on the search through the district's website, the district's newswire, direct mail and through take-home bulletins distributed through the schools.

The board hired SC Search Consultants on July 6 to facilitate the search for a new superintendent after Steve Castle resigned in June. Bill Reimer is serving as interim superintendent.