Chesterton Tribune



Search for new school superintendent to be 'board driven' this time

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The Duneland School Board is gearing up to do more of the legwork this time around as it searches for a new superintendent, according to Board President Brandon Kroft.

Kroft told the Chesterton Tribune that BWP & AssociatesÑthe same search consultant that brought the Board former Superintendent Dr. Ginger BolingerÑhas assisted the Board in advertising for the position and accepting applications, but they will do little more than that going forward.

“We are utilizing BWP with a much more limited scope of service because this superintendent search will be a lot more board-driven, given that we can use a lot of the research they did in the previous search,” Kroft said.

According to Kroft, the research BWP did by holding public forums and gathering information about what the community wanted from a new superintendent after Dr. David Pruis retired is recent enough to be reused, in concert with updated meetings with teachers, principals, and staff.

The Board will be conducting its own interviews this time and developed a list of desired qualifications for the new superintendent. “The benefit for the taxpayers is its going to cost a lot less money, but it will require more work from the Board,” Kroft said.

Kroft said he was able to negotiate a contract with BWP for those limited services that costs a lot less than last time. According to the original letter of understanding, the Board agreed to pay BWP $14,000 plus fees for consulting and up to $4,700 in advertising costs related to the search that resulted in Bolinger’s hire. The new contract with the limited scope is not to exceed $2,325 for services and fees.

The Board went with BWP again, Kroft said, because they’ve already put in extensive groundwork on getting public input, and they’re familiar with Duneland.

“We think that what they do is very thorough, and we had built up a lot of comfort with them,” Kroft said. “They have a lot of insight into where Duneland is right now, so we didn’t’ need to reinvent the wheel with another organization.”

Applications are due to BWP Friday, March 1. Applicants must prove eligibility to be a superintendent in Indiana, as well as provide a cover letter, resume, statement of major professional accomplishments, applicant data form, college transcripts, and four to six letters of recommendation.

The Board’s list of 13 desired qualifications and characteristics calls for a compassionate, student-centered educator who is skilled in communicating and collaborating with students, staff, Board members, and other community members alike.

The list also places emphasis on the importance of new candidates looking to be visible in the schools and the community and being both professionally and personally committed to Duneland.

Per the list, a successful candidate should be “a consensus builder, team builder, healer and bridge builder,” who can balance the importance of technology with traditional instruction and places utmost importance on attracting and retaining the highest quality teachers.

“I fully expect we’ll have some internal candidates,” Kroft said. “I certainly don’t feel that there’s no one in our district who is qualified for this job. We’re going at this with a very open mind.”

Kroft said the Board plans to discuss applicants with BWP in March, review applications, conduct first and second round interviews in April, then announce the chosen candidate in May.



Posted 2/26/2019




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