Superintendent search underway


During a Monday evening forum at Liberty Hall on the Washington middle and high school campus, consultant Dennis Leone explained how he will help the Washington City Schools Board of Education fill the role of superintendent.

K12 Business Consulting, Inc. Superintendent Search Consultant Leone, and his coworker Chris Mohr, visited the district Monday to conduct multiple forums throughout the day to gather information on the characteristics, skills, and experience the community was seeking in a new superintendent. Mohr and Leone met with Washington City Schools central office administrators, high school students, teachers, classified staff, and PTOs, booster groups and other individuals.

“What I do in these sessions is I ask people to verbally share with me answers to these questions,” Leone said. “Sometimes they bring in our surveys already filled out, so I tell them to hang on to them and as the meeting goes along, they may remember other things important to our search.”

Topics included:

“What do you consider to be the two or three most significant strengths of the school district?”

“What would you consider to be the two or three most important issues facing the district?”

“Please tell us two or three characteristics which you believe the board should look for in a new superintendent:”

The form also included a series of needs that they believe are important ranked on a one to 10 scale. These range from the ability and willingness to deal fairly with faculty, staff, students and parents, expertise in design and implementation of curriculum and student instruction, personal involvement and interest in the community and more.

“It is interesting work for me because I was a former superintendent and I make sure I let people know that so they know I am not just some person up here,” Leone said. “I got a lot of really valuable information today from our meetings. All of this information will go into a profile that we let the public see as well as potential applicants. They can do their homework and see if this district is the right match for them. I expect we will get a little more next week at the next round of meetings.”

Monday’s forum was sparsely attended.

The next forum, open to the entire Washington Court House City School District community, will be held Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Hall, which is located at the middle/high school complex located at 400 S. Elm St. Everyone who is interested is encouraged to attend and all input is welcome. Surveys will be due by April 14 and the profile will be available April 18. Following the profile, potential applicants will submit to K12 Consulting until April 28. Just after, Leone will meet with the school board to show his recommendations and narrow the search to eight. These individuals will move on to interviews held on May 8 and 9, when they will meet not only meet the board for the interview, but also a group of city officials, union presidents, chamber of commerce members and other interested individuals prior to the interview.

During the regular monthly meeting of the board recently, a new business item was moved up the agenda and a motion was made by Jim Teeters to accept the interim contract of Robert Hamm to fill Matthew McCorkle’s absence as superintendent. The board unanimously approved the motion and Hamm assumed responsibilities of the position.

Currently, according to board president Ken Upthegrove, the contract for Hamm is based on the discretion of the board president and he said that Hamm and himself will discuss how long he will continue in the position, but said that it will be until they are able to permanently fill the superintendent position.

On Feb. 27, the board emerged from its approximately 40-minute executive session and board member Jennifer Lynch read a resolution to accept then-superintendent McCorkle’s resignation, effective March 31, and to employ him under a consulting contract for administrative services. The contract allowed McCorkle to essentially perform administrative duties until the board finds a new superintendent.

Lynch and the four other board members — Upthegrove, Copas, Teeters and Jon Creamer — all voted in favor of the resolution. Board members refused to comment on the reason McCorkle’s job status had been in question and why he resigned, citing legal advice.

For more information stay with the Record-Herald in the coming weeks.

By Martin Graham

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Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy