Board members were universally supportive of interviewing the candidate, while also maintaining their plans for a larger search.
It is an “exciting opportunity,” Board Member Sue Benjamin said.
While there are qualified candidates out there, finding a “true visionary,” is not easy, Board Member Evan Drefuss said.
“Mr. Speck’s candidate is somebody that is probably talking to three or four school systems and once and I think is going to be hired very quickly. I think we owe it to our school system to talk to this person,” Dreyfuss said.
The board did consider using Speck as a consultant when it started its superintendent search the first time, in 2012, Carlson said. However, at that time, he was also working as acting superintendent for the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES as well as running the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES. Instead, the board opted to hire the Warner Center for Professional Development and Education Reform from the University of Rochester.
Like it did in 2012 for its original search, the board will: collect applications with the help of its search consultant, do background checks, conduct interviews, arrange for the candidates to be interviewed by stakeholder groups (including teachers, administration and community members) and narrow the field down to a final two or three candidates, who then be introduced at public forums.
The board had originally planned to start the search again in the fall of 2014 and announce the new superintendent in the spring of 2015. However, it did discuss moving the search up to this summer at the recommendation of board member Geralyn Huba earlier this year. Appointing a search consultant was the board’s first step toward developing a timeline for the process.
Interim Superintendent of School Judy Pastel, who was originally hired for just the 2012-13 school year, has agreed to stay with the district through the end of the 2014-15 school year, unless a new superintendent would be ready to start sooner.