As the Bexley school district approaches its Centennial Celebration this fall, we can be proud of the national, state and student accolades we have received.

These awards reinforce what we already know -- we are a community of people who care about all of our children. Our schools are the gem of Bexley and our faculty and administration demonstrate daily their professionalism and dedication to the success of every student.

A new century of education in Bexley will begin with many new changes: a recently hired treasurer, a new middle school configuration and a new superintendent.

The board of education understands the magnitude of its most important job -- the hiring of a superintendent. As a collective group of citizens representing the Bexley community, we are determined to maintain all that the district does well and to commit to continuous improvement as we seek our new district leader.

We hold strong the value of a first-class education while supporting the social and emotional development of every student in a safe and caring environment.

The consulting firm of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates is assisting the board in our search for the new superintendent.

We began with a self-assessment process that included an online survey, focus groups and public meetings. HYA compiled the data from all respondents and provided a summary of the top-rated characteristics the ideal candidate should exhibit: being a visionary, inspirational leader; an effective communicator; an instructional leader and an efficient manager. To view the detailed report, go to the district website, bexleyschools.org, and in the paragraph under the photos, look for the Leadership Profile.

The board's commitment to our students' success is paramount as we begin the next two interview stages for our new superintendent.

These phases of the search will include public participation and feedback that the board will use in deliberation to select the top candidate for the job. We welcome your support and input.

Our goal is to complete the search in early April and vote to hire the new superintendent at the April 17 board of education meeting. For more details, go to the district website and in the paragraph under the photos, look for the Timeline.

Superintendent Michael Johnson has enjoyed a long run of success in meeting his goals in our district by establishing Best Practices in all our schools and making our excellent system better. He is held in high regard by members of the faculty, administration, student body and the community who trust him and appreciate what he has done for our schools.

His legacy is secure and will serve us well as we begin a new era with a new superintendent.

The next century of the Bexley school district will be an exciting one. Our history is filled with accomplishments and wonderful memories that we celebrate, but the future belongs to our children, who deserve our very best.

Schools notebook is provided to ThisWeek Bexley News by the Bexley City School District. Melissa Lacroix is president of the Bexley Board of Education.