Superintendent Search: Tell Us What You Think!

School Board begins community engagement in search for new superintendent.

FCPS Superintendent Jack Dale will retire next summer, after six years of service.  Dr. Dale has led the school system through a period of significant change and growth, through many challenges and with much to celebrate.  It is not an easy job, to put it mildly, and I am grateful for his steady and creative leadership.  

Filling the office of superintendent of our school system is an enormous task, maybe the most important decision this school board will make.  Fortunately, we have an engaged, informed community to help us.  The board has hired a consulting team with years of successful national experience to help us reach out to the community and recruit the best candidates. 

Community outreach begins next week, including open community forums every night at locations throughout the county.  The goal of public outreach is to develop an understanding of the qualities community members hope to see in a new superintendent.  Go to www.fcps.edu/news/suptsearch.shtml for more information.    Watch the web site for details about the online community survey also being conducted.

In addition to the December open forums and online survey, the search consultants will also meet with several community groups, representing PTAs, teacher associations, minority advocates and others.  By mid-December, the consultants will come back to the board with a draft leadership profile, based on the community's input.

Another round of community forums will follow in January, after which the board will approve a final profile, which the consultants will use to conduct a nationwide search for candidates.  The board will interview up to eight candidates, then choose a smaller group of two to four finalists.

The interview process will be confidential, to protect the identities of the candidates.  After a thoughtful debate at our last work session, the board decided to include representatives of community groups in the final phase of interviews.  Those community leaders will be asked to keep candidates' identities confidential, as well.  Their analysis of candidates' qualifications will be an important part of the board's final decision.

I think we are on track for a thorough, successful superintendent search.  Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. 

Pat Hynes
Vice Chair and Hunter Mill Representative to the School Board

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Farrell November 26, 2012 at 01:21 PM
FCPS has had the former leaders of the NYC and Boston public school systems as Superintendents, both chosen through a public process. Followed by "some dude" from Frederick, MD who was chosen in secret. That sequence of facts should be enough to condemn a secret selection process advocated by Ms. Hynes. The identities of the finalists for the position must be disclosed to the public before a final hiring decision is made. That was the fatal flaw in the search that produced Dale Fail. Yes, HYA recommends against that. No surprise. They gave us Dale Fail. They are also uncomfortably close to the Broad Foundation and its philosophy of passive school boards. With a populace as highly educated as Fairfax County, the next Superintendent will have to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and an ability to work effectively with the teachers and parent advocates in the County. Being afraid to disclose their interest in the Superintendent's position to the public before a final decision is made is antithetical to those qualities and ought to disqualify a candidate from further consideration for the position.
Pat Hynes November 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Correction: Dr. Dale will have served for nine years, not six. I apologize for the error.
John Farrell November 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Gee, it's felt like it's been 20 years Thank God, there's only 216 days left


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