Bethel-Tate board begins superintendent search

The Bethel-Tate School District Board of Education has started the process of searching for a new superintendent.

The first stage of this process was introduced at a special meeting Nov. 30 at the Bethel-Tate Middle School. The goal was to gain not only staff involvement, but community feedback as well.

“We talked about coming up with a way to involve the staff and the community in the hiring process,” said Mark Rose, board president. “Mr. Smith has been a been superintendent for this school district for 13 years. This has been the longest tenure in my recollection.”

Rose also noted that none of the board members has ever been in the position of hiring a superintendent.

With teacher and community involvement being the primary focus of this first meeting, forms labeled,

“Superintendent Search-Quality/Attributes,” were passed out to participants.

The board asked for participants at the meeting to chose five out of the 25 attributes listed on the forms that would indicate what they expected from a new superintendent.

“We would like to gain a relatively clear and concise idea of what the teachers, especially, would like to see in a new superintendent. They are the ones who will be working on a day to day basis with the person we hire,” Rose said.

The most agreed upon selections on the Superintendent Search-Qualities/Attributes form was qualities such as leadership skills, program development, flexibility and knowledge of legislative and legal matters.

Participants in this first meeting agreed that most of the 25 qualities listed fell under one basic attribute, which was leadership. However, one of the attributes listed on the form was questioned by a participant at the meeting.

The question was, “How can enthusiasm and integrity be determined on a resume?”

Kathy Adams, vice-president of the school board, replied to this by saying, “This would not be something that could be picked up on a resume. You can, a lot of times, get certain feelings about a person when you are talking to them face to face, so this would hopefully be picked up on in the actual interview.”

“Of course there will also be other issues involved in our search such as background checks and references,” Adams said. “Communication skills seemed to be a quality that popped up in this meeting tonight as well.”

“We want to take our time and thoroughly review what will be best for our teachers. They are the ones who will be directly impacted by the choice. Again, this is why we want them, as well as the community, to be involved in this process,” Rose said. “This is just first step of the process we have been working on. We have put a survey on the on the Web site as well for parents and community members.”

The next special meeting concerning the search for a new superintendent will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 27 at the Bethel-Tate Middle School library.

The survey results from the online survey will be reviewed and analyzed at this meeting. The meeting is open to staff, parents and residents.

“Open discussion will take place and comments will be welcomed,” Rose said.