Tonganoxie school board begins superintendent search groundwork
Editor's note:The original story read that the next regular meeting would be this coming Tuesday, April 12. It's actually Monday, April 11. Regular school board meetings generally are the second Monday of each month. Additional special meetings sometimes are called for other days in the month, generally also Mondays.
Tonganoxie USD 464 board members have made their first steps toward selecting the district's superintendent.
Chris Christman, consultant with McPherson and Jacobson, the firm the board selected the week before to perform its superintendent search, carved out plans for the superintendent search at a special meeting Monday. Board Members Kay Smith and Amelia Brusven were absent. Board clerk Audra Boone was in attendance with the board.
On Monday, Christman went over introductions and the overview of the process.
Christman, who also teaches at Pittsburg State University, had board members brainstorm a list of qualities they wanted in a superintendent for the selection criteria.
Members mentioned trustworthiness, budget/financial skills, being thick-skinned and an ability to understand the climate at the Statehouse regarding education issues as some of their criteria.
Board members put together 28 qualities they felt were important and then consolidated a few to make it 24.
McPherson and Jacobson also will conduct focus group interviews with different patrons in the community, as well as USD 464 staff members, leading up to school board interviews of finalists.
The company’s current timeline calls for interviews of finalists in mid-May.
Patron Monica Gee voiced concern that students, working with other districts and transportation were not on the list.
Christman told the board that when McPherson and Jacobson learned last week that it had been selected as the district’s search committee, it posted that the position was available on its website. The job posting also was sent out to 100 consultants in 30 states.
He said the firm has an 80 percent retention rate of superintendents who have been placed in the past five years.
Current Superintendent Lyn Rantz announced recently that she would be resigning effective at the end of June to take an administrative position at Topeka Collegiate. This is Rantz’s second year in Tonganoxie.
The school board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Monday at the Tonganoxie Elementary School library.