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 CAB Board Explains What It Wants in New Superintendent

March 19, 2008 - Citizens weren't the only ones to speak last week at the Charles A. Beard School Board's public forum on CAB's search for a new superintendent.

After receiving comments and questions from forum attendees, the school board's seven members each took a few minutes to identify qualities they believe will be important in a new superintendent.

Larry Selvidge said he believes CAB's next top administrator needs to have a "sound" background in both business and curriculum. However, he said the most important things he'll be looking for in applicants are honesty, integrity and ethics.

"We have to have someone at the top who has those qualities," Selvidge said.

Debi Ware said she agreed with citizen comments about the importance of having a superintendent who visits CAB schools and interacts with staff and students. She also said she thinks its important to find someone who understands special education issues and who can handle grant applications. Ware also said she wants a superintendent who can keep up with changes in curriculum and who will be involved in the community.

"What I would look for in a superintendent is a vision of what this corporation is going to be in the future," Wade Beatty, the board's vice president, said. "The challenges are there. The state's going to have mandates that none of us are going to like in the next six to eight years. So, I want to know what their vision is for the school corporation and the students we teach."

Kevin Knott said he will be looking for someone with "a proven track record" of strong leadership skills who will be able to make decisions that need to be made. He also said he thinks the next superintendent should be "someone who'll have an open, working, communicative relationship with the board" and who takes a visible and active role in the communities served by CAB.

"Our responsibility is to find somebody who best fits with our school corporation and who is willing to strive their best everyday to help us meet our needs," Knott said.

Ron Womack said he believes it's important for the new superintendent to have good communication and public relations skills. Saying former Superintendent David McGuire, who resigned last July, had been good in these areas, Womack said it's important to find someone who can "paint a positive picture" of CAB. He said the board takes a chance on hiring anyone, and said the public needs to place its trust in the board to do their best in selecting the next superintendent.

Leah Kopp said she had sought guidance from former CAB Superintendent Bob Myers on the selection process. She said she valued the public's input and agreed that the board needs make sure it researches the background of its next superintendent by going to applicants' communities to find out what people there think of them. She said she will look for a candidate who recognizes that the "the most important thing in this corporation, the most important aspect, is our students, our kids."

Board President Mike Fruth said the most important thing for him is to find someone who has not only the professional qualifications to be superintendent, but who also has "high moral and ethical standards." He said, "Most people, you can train to do about anything, but you can't change their character."

Persons interested in the superintendent position have been directed to send their applications to a four-member University Consulting Team that will perform an initial screening of applicants for CAB. The school board is scheduled to meet privately May 6 in executive session with the UCT to review a narrowed field of applicants in an effort to identify a smaller number to interview by the end of May. Fruth said at last week's forum that the board's goal is to have a new superintendent hired by July 1.

 

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