continued As for professional experience, 68 percent of respondents wanted the candidate to be a former teacher, while 65 percent wanted someone with previous experience as a superintendent.
The results of the focus groups and interviews showed that more than anything else respondents want the new superintendent to create a strong vision for the district and will act collaboratively to lead the community and the schools to that vision, according to the report. However, while seeking a strong vision, residents also want the new superintendent to honor and respect the traditions of the present and the past.
One of the important issues before the board both in general and immediately at the Dec. 4 meeting was on residency – whether the superintendent will be required to be a district resident or not. All of the consultants’ research showed a mixed community reaction to the question, but many residents do want the new superintendent to be a district resident, and some said it would be a “deal-breaker” for them, no matter a candidate’s qualifications, if they did not want to live in the district.
“I don’t think residency will be a problem, people will want to move here,” Peris told the board. However, candidates will want to know what the residency requirement is, so “that is something you’re going to have to wrestle with,” he added.
When the report summary was finished, BOE President Evan Dreyfuss polled the board on the question of residency. Members Thomas Lambdin, Keith Krieger, Michael Card, Susan Murphy and Susan Benjamin all agreed that residency in the district should be “strongly encouraged” but not essential. Dreyfuss said he felt the most important consideration was a candidate’s ability to lead the district rather than live in it, while BOE Vice President Kathryn Carlson said she felt residency was important, especially if the person hired lived a long distance away.