A consensus was reached by the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Board of Education at its meeting Monday to have eight to 12 members of the public included in a confidential interview process to hire a replacement for Superintendent Renee Goier who retires June 30.
The Board had been split on the issue of allowing anyone but the elected members to offer input because it could reduce the potential applicant pool. After a presentation by consultants Hank Gmitro and Kim Perkins, reluctant officials changed their mind.
Earlier: District 109 Superintendent Search Moves Ahead
Gmitro and Perkins told the Board a small group with each member signing a confidentiality agreement would not likely reduce the applicant pool though a public meeting with the finalists for the job would. The proposed group would offer input but not recommendations.
“This may have some value given what has gone on in this District,” Gmitro said. His comment was based on a report he made Monday based on 106 interviews with teachers, administrators, students, members of school organizations and the general public as well as result from more than 200 on line surveys.
After Board members expressed support for the idea, their colleague, Ron Worth changed his mind about keeping the selection a closed process.
“I was in favor of a closed session if you want to find someone who walks on water,” Worth said. “The way you’ve laid it out I think it will be a win win,” he added referring to the suggestions of Gmitro and Perkins.
After Worth’s comments, Board President Ellen London was ready to move forward with the formation of a group. “How about I write up a list of constituent groups to include parents, teachers and administrators and put it together,” she said.
Gmitro outlined the profile of an ideal superintendent based on what he learned talking to the Board and other members of the community.
“(The candidate should) be a collaborative and effective communicator, a knowledgeable and visionary educator, an effective and insightful systems thinker, a proactive and resourceful problem solver and a competent and detail oriented manager,” Gmitro said.
In other business, the Board heard a presentation on the 2012 property tax levy, student performance on the ISAT tests and changes in special education programs. Patch will have detailed stories this week on the superintendent search and these issues.