After a rocky start in finding a new superintendent that began last fall, the Crestwood School District is now soliciting public opinion with a survey and has tweaked its interview process for the position.
Controversy arose at the end of last year when the professional that outgoing members on the board voted to hire as superintendent in November was overturned by the new board in December.
This time, the Pennsylvania School Board Association will look at Crestwood’s new superintendent applicants and do a round of evaluations, passing their recommendations onto the Crestwood School Board, where it will then begin its own interviews, hopefully in the spring.
Asked why the PSBA wasn’t involved in the screening process last time, Jack Dean, solicitor to the school board, only answered why it is beneficial this time. The PSBA is a panel of experts who are experienced in screening superintendents all the time, he said, while Crestwood is less experienced, having not needed to go through the hiring process for eight years.
“When you need heart surgery, you
don’t go to a general practitioner, you go to a specialist,” Dean related. Of the PSBA, he added, “They’re very impressive in what they do.”
The PSBA suggested that Crestwood use a survey, inviting community members to voice the qualities in a new superintendent that they feel are most important. “They said it would be a helpful tool in the hiring process and we follow their guidance,” noted Dean.
The survey asks residents to weigh how important they feel certain qualifications and areas of experience are in a superintendent. They are to rank the areas -such as, administration management, board relations, special education, school finance, public relations and technology –as either “very important, important, somewhat important, or not important.”
Next the survey asks for those same qualifications and experience areas to be ranked in importance as first, second, and third. The survey goes on to ask residents to rank by importance areas of focus that he or she thinks should be addressed by