More Subtle Qualities in a New SuperBy Ari L. Noonan @ 2:00 PM May 01, 2012
Third in a series
Re “Looking for a Super Who Will Push Back?”
It was good that community activist George Laase sat in the front row for last Tuesday’s community meeting soliciting ideas for developing a profile for the School District’s next Superintendent.
From his chair, he was nearest to John Cruz of the superintendent-search firm Education Leadership Services, conductor of the 45-minute meeting before a vest-pocket audience.
After identifying “ethics” as his first consideration, and checking off the top of his list, Mr. Laase mentioned “how to work a crowd –but I want t6o explain what I mean. Some people are good at one-on-one. Others are better in a large group.”
What about work experience? Mr. Cruz asked. “A number of folks would like teaching experience,” he said. “They would like the person to have experience at a site, principal, vice principal.
Again, Mr. Laase led off. “Someone who can take an oddly worded policy and execute it,” he said. “A lot of policies are weirdly written.”
Stepping in after a pregnant pause, Mr. Cruz said that “a number of people said ‘we need somebody with prior experience, someone who can come in and hit the ground running.’ Other folks have said ‘We would kind of like someone who is new, who would bring in a new perspective.’ What are your thoughts?”
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin, freshly arrived, took her first turn. “I would like to see someone who is enthused about being superintendent, whether experienced or not,” she said.
“Does not have to be a District person,” Mr. Laase said.
“Fortunately,” he added, “I said what I said before she arrived.”
“What did you say?”
Mr. Cruz’s turn: “What do you think are the big issues of immediate concern when this person walks in here July 1?”
“Fundraising inequity,” Mr.Laase said, referring to the all-spring brouhaha over a gap between revenue-raising at El Marino Language School being far more than at any other campus.
Mr. Cruz asked him to elaborate.
“One school fundraises almost as much as the other schools put together,” Mr. Laase said.
“Next would be building an emergent program throughout the grades. We have it in the elementary schools, and I would say it should matriculate through the Middle School and into the high school.”
Ms. Stehlin said the new Super should become intimately acquainted with the District, with the community at the earliest date and bring together the factions that have friction with each other.