Superintendent Search Criteria Being Finalized Oct. 13

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The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education will be finalizing criteria to be used for the selection of a new superintendent of schools at a public meeting on October 13 at 7 p.m. at the Columbia High School Library, according to a release from Board President Beth Daugherty.

The Board is searching for a new superintendent following the resignation of Brian Osborne in June. Currently, the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Administration James Memoli is working as the Acting Superintendent.

The Board also plans to select candidates for the first round of interviews at a meeting on November 10. Daugherty wrote in the release that the Board expects that the new superintendent will “start on or before July 1, 2015.” At a forum on September 13, a consultant said that “22 or 23 candidates” had already applied for the job.

Daugherty wrote that the Board “is pleased by the thoughtfulness and volume of community input to the superintendent search process. Approximately 650 online surveys have been completed and there have been 200 participants involved in interviews, focus groups and open forums.” Village Green reported previously that many forum attendees said they wanted a superintendent who was an “excellent communicator.”

Members of the public will have at least two more opportunities to “provide input to the development of the leadership profile and search criteria that will be used to identify and evaluate superintendent candidates,” wrote Daugherty. Those opportunities are:

  • Monday, October 6, in the District Meeting Room, 525 Academy St.: Maplewood Elementary & Middle School Parents focus group from 7:00-8:15 p.m; Open Forum, open to the community from 8:15 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 9, in the Columbia High School Library: Middle & High School parents focus group from 7:00-8:15 pm; Open Forum, open to the community from 8:15 – 9:30 p.m.; and Teachers and Support Staff 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Members of the public can also speak on Monday, October 13, at a special meeting of the Board in the Columbia High School library. Although the public session will move immediately to closed session so that Board members can “review the leadership profile and finalize the superintendent search criteria developed based on community input,” the Board will return to public session at 8:30 p.m.

During public session on October 13, Dr. Leroy Nunery of HYA Associates will present an overview of the leadership profile and search criteria. Members of the public will also be able to present concerns, thoughts and opinions during the public speaks portion of the open meeting. The meeting will conclude with a discussion and vote by the Board on the superintendent search criteria.

On Monday, November 10, the Board will meet in executive session to select the candidates that will be invited for a first round of interviews.

Daugherty said that the first and second rounds of interviews will take place in December. The Board will invite the three Board of Education candidates that win in the November 4 election to observe these interview sessions and participate in the pursuant Board discussions about candidate qualifications. However, only current Board members will be involved in selecting the candidates that return for the second round of interviews. The identity of the candidates participating in the first and second round of interviews will be kept confidential.

After the Board of Education Reorganization meeting in early January, the Board plans to select the finalists, conduct further interviews and approve a new superintendent. The new superintendent will start on or before July 1, 2015, wrote Daugherty.

“We are grateful to everyone who has provided input and thank the community for their cooperation in this process,” wrote Daugherty.

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