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Consults submit report on superintendent search

Final job announcement completed and posted online

— Members of the Skaneateles community want their next school district superintendent to be a visionary passionate about his or her work, an outstanding communicator with a strong background in teaching and curriculum, someone who is approachable and with unquestioned integrity who is collaborative but also a strong decision-maker.

These are the general results of the public survey, focus group discussions and individual interviews done by the consultants from the Warner School of Education for the Skaneateles Board of Education as it seeks to find the best candidate to be the next leader of the school district.

“A fair number of respondents want this person to be inspiring,” said lead consultant Henry J. Peris, who, along with his colleague Tim McElheran, presented the results of the first phase of their work to the BOE at its Dec. 4 meeting. “When you look at the survey results, the district [also] wants an expert.”

The Skaneateles BOE hired consultants from the Warner School in late October to assist in the search for its next superintendent. In November the district posted on its website a community survey asking what qualities and characteristics district residents wanted in their next superintendent. On Nov. 19, the consultants also spent an entire day in Skaneateles meeting with students, teachers, administrators, parents and residents to get face-to-face input during focus groups and interviews. The consultants also researched key data regarding the school district to better inform the search process.

The online survey, active from Nov. 1 to 30 on the district website, had 214 total respondents, the largest group of which identified themselves as parents (62 percent), the next largest as residents (57 percent) followed by teachers (18 percent), according to the report, which Peris summarized for the board.

The top five qualities respondents want in a superintendent are, in order of importance: a visionary and inspirational leader with goals, a passion for educating children, someone who listens and considers all points of view, an effective decision-maker and an excellent communicator.

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