Superintdent Search Survey Goes Live

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Parents with children in Saline Area Schools can take a much more active part in the district’s search for a new permanent superintendent until Friday. Saline has put on a three question survey to gather data on what the community wants to see in a new superintendent, to aid the district in its search.

“We want the public to be involved as much as possible,” Dennis Valenti said. The Board of Education Trustee said it was crucial to get as much feedback from the public as possible “to fill out this profile.”

Community stakeholders have until Friday to complete the survey. Specifically, the survey asks what “skills, qualifications and characteristics” you want to see in a new superintendent, what the challenges the new superintendent will have to face in the next three to five years and what “are the points of pride for Saline Area Schools?” The survey closes at 3 p.m., Friday.

Annherst Kreitz of the Foundation for Saline Area Schools told the Sun Times News she was happy with the survey Tuesday afternoon, and looked forward to taking it.

As Dave Killips, the external consultant hired from the Michigan Leadership Institute to assist in the search, explained to the board, Tuesday, this information will be used to inform the kind of candidate that is selected. The job posting has already attracted a number of candidates, though Killips did not specify now many have applied so far.

Killips’ job will be to vent candidates through multiple background checks and constant communication with applicants. He will then vet them to present the most qualified candidates to the board. Perspective superintendents have until 4 p.m. on April 2 to submit their applications.

MLI will be collecting candidates confidentially for the April 8 meeting, which will likely mostly happen in closed session. Some applicants can choose to have their interviews be conducted in open session, but according to Killips, that only happens rarely.

Candidates will be interviewed by the board and known only to trustees by a number, to protect the privacy of the candidates – who might not want their current employers to know they are seeking work elsewhere – and to add to the objectivity of the Boards decision making.

“When we’re in closed session, every candidate has a number. The Board of Education is allowed to review the applications and the additional material; the resumes and the letter of interest. You cannot deliberate or ask questions of each other as we are reviewing this candidates. However, you are allowed to ask me clarifying questions in that meeting and I will provide you any and all information I have,”

Killips explained to the Board, Tuesday evening.

After the candidates are interviewed, the meeting will return to open session – meaning the public will be allowed back onto the Zoom meeting link – towards the end of what Killips warned could be a very long meeting. Then, the board will consider the candidates in open discussion until someone on the board makes a motion to offer the top job at Saline Area Schools to one or more of the candidates.

If a majority concur with that decision, then the identity of the candidate will be made public, and the Board will move on to at least one more final interview, before a formal hire is made. The final interview is scheduled for May 5.

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