Search for school chief moves ahead

The school board will have an experienced pool of candidates to interview.
WARREN -- Their job applications in hand, a representative of the Ohio School Boards Association will present names of school superintendent candidates to the board of education Wednesday.
The 23 applicants include eight people from Northeast Ohio, four from elsewhere in the state, and 11 from other states, said Kathleen LaSota, the OSBA's deputy director of search services and board development. One of the hopefuls is from within the local school district.
Warren City Schools began a national search Feb. 9 for a new superintendent who can guide the district through its building program and other challenges.
LaSota said she's assembling her review team today in Columbus. All applicants are screened by an OSBA team of current and former superintendents, who will rank them based on criteria supplied by the school district.
What's next
The local school board will meet with LaSota in executive session at noon Wednesday. At that time board members will receive her report and decide which candidates will be interviewed. The names of people getting interviews will be made public, she said.
The applicants include former and current schools superintendents, attorneys, a consultant, a professor and people who have never led a school district but have the experience to do so, LaSota explained.
"The board will have a variety of experiences and knowledge bases to choose from," she said, noting that the process is on schedule and going as planned. "I'm pleased with the quality."
Superintendent Betty English plans to step down when her contract expires in July. English has led the 6,500-pupil system since 1999 and served as assistant superintendent for a short period before that. The district has about 1,000 employees.
The school board hired OSBA to do the search at a cost of $5,900 plus expenses not to exceed $2,000. The closing date for applications was March 31.
The job posting was sent to 2,500 addresses in Ohio and posted on the Internet and National School Boards Association site. LaSota also received input from focus groups at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and the community at large.
The application process was secure -- not even board members know until this week who is applying.
The school board's first round of interviews tentatively would be the week of April 18. A second interview round would be the week of April 25. A decision could be reached and an offer made May 2, and an offer to employ by mid-May, based on the timetable approved last month.
The board has agreed the next superintendent and family must live in the district. Also, the board would prefer a three-year contract.
English's salary was $97,501.

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