Consultants assembling a picture of the ideal superintendent for Deerfield Public Schools District 109 to replace Renee Goier who retires in June have talked to more than a dozen groups representing sections of the community as well as the general public.
Representatives of ECRA, the search firm charged with helping the District 109 Board of Education find the right fit have been listening to people and asking questions to prepare the picture they will paint at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the regularly scheduled Board meeting.
Earlier: School Board Takes First Steps in Superintendent Search
At one of those meetings for the general public Tuesday at Shepard Middle School, residents suggested the ideal candidate will be a communicator sensitive to the needs of students, parents, teachers, administrators and the Board.
“We have great, caring teachers,” Dick Heller, one of the people at Tuesday’s meeting, said. “There were a lot of hard feelings when we had our almost strike last year. We should look for someone who can get cooperation of everyone.”
When asked by Kim Perkins and Hank Gmitro of ECRA, Heller made it clear the superintendent must be able to measure the performance of the teachers and administrators but did not want student testing to be a major determinant of evaluation.
“There should be a focus on continued improvement, measured improvement,” Heller said. “You can’t improve what you can’t measure. The superintendent should see this as a laboratory. If it works you keep it,” he added referring to measures he hopes the new leader will take.
Gmitro and Perkins explained they have been conducting a large series of meeting like Tuesday’s to determine the right person to lead the District. Those findings will be presented at the Oct. 15 Board meeting.
“We’ll build an ideal set of characteristics,” Gmitro said. “Our job is to screen potential applicants and present five or six to be interviewed by the Board and help narrow the choices for a second interview.”
In addition to the two meetings with the general public, the consultants met with the District Caucus, people who have taken petition packets to become candidates to run for the Board in April, the Parent Teacher Organization President’s Council, community leaders, representatives of the Deerfield Education Association teachers’ union as well as leadership, current Board members, the special education parents group, a team of people representing administrators, members of the 109 Foundation and others.