The search for a new superintendent for Pine-Richland School District switched gears recently as the deadline to apply for the job passed and the hiring process moved into the interviewing phase.
"The board is engaged in the selection of the first round of interviewees," school board President Peter Lyons said Monday.
Lyons offered no details except to say the board would start interviewing applicants in February. The board seeks to hire a replacement for former superintendent Dr. Mary Bucci, who resigned in December after district officials said they did not plan to renew her contract.
The distrrict hired the Pennsylvania School Boards Association as a consultant to handle the superintendent search and vet the applications so the board can choose its first round of interviewees. A second round is planned for March.
PSBA's Tom Templeton and Dr. Wayne Doyle are the lead consultants on the project.
The Pine-Richland School Board plans to hire a new superintendent in April, according to a timeline published on the district's website.
Lyons gave the Pine Board of Supervisors an update Feb. 5, appearing at the supervisors' meeting to introduce himself as the new school board president and to inform supervisors about the district's proposed budget and superintendent search.
When asked by board of supervisors Vice Chairman Philip Henry about the number of candidates available, Lyons said he has heard anecdotally that the pool of candidates for a superintendent in Pennsylvania is shallow.
He said the school board is aware of that. After deciding in the fall to hire a new superintendent, the school board started ira search early to avoid competing against other school districts involved in similar searches, he said.
Regardless of the quantity of applications received, Lyons said, the board most likely will be interested only in the top three to six candidates.
For now, Dr. David Foley is serving as the district's acting superintendent “with the full confidence of the board,” Lyons said. Foley, who has been the assistant superintendent since 2009 has said he is not interested in the superintendent's job.
Call for Community Input
In addition to seeking applicants, the Pennsylvania School Board Association also sought input from the community about the qualities it seeks in a superintendent.
The association sought input through online surveys as well as face-to-face meetings with teachers, administrators, support staff and the community at large.
At a community forum held in mid-January at the Pine-Richland Middle School auditorium, community members said they felt the district needed more transparency and better communication.
About 15 people engaged in a conversation with PSBA's Templeton, who moderated the meeting.
They told him they are looking for someone with leadership qualities who is not afraid to hold his/her own and will push initiatives that benefit K-12 students.
They also said they would like to see a superintendent with a proven track record of success in a district with high expectations.
Expectations for the new superintendent are high.
Community members said they would like to hire a superintendent with these qualities: Business savvy, strength of convictions, integrity, earned respect, inspiring, good listener, forward-thinking, exceptional leadership, dynamic, passionate, visionary, innovative, crafty enough to make the budget work, and ambition coupled with humility.
After the forum, Templeton said the PSBA received candid responses.
"...and that's exactly what we want," he said. "This has been a very impressive group of people to talk to all the way around the district."
Please help us get to 1,000 Facebook “likes” by clicking here and “liking” us.
Check out some of today's other top stories here.