No one from the public speaks as Halifax County School Board sets qualifications for next superintendent | Education


The next Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent will be required to reside in Halifax County during the year of hire, must have experience as a principal, and must have experience as an office administrator central, superintendent or associate/assistant superintendent is preferred.

These are part of the qualifications the Halifax County School Board set when they met on Wednesday for a public hearing at which no one from the public spoke.

After the public hearing, the school board reviewed the responses to a survey on the qualifications of the future superintendent in which 407 people participated.

In the survey, more than 50% of participants said they would need school division residency and experience as principals.

In reviewing leadership and management skills, the school board decided that the successful candidate was a decisive leader, a visionary and creative thinker with strong writing and speaking skills, which is consistent with the survey results.

Regarding personal characteristics, the board members agreed that the successful candidate is a good listener, approachable, consistent and caring, which is also consistent with the survey results.

Using the survey results, board members have decided that the successful candidate can lead the school board in goal setting and planning, is ready to take a leadership role in decision-making while keeping the board informed and provides options and recommendations to the board prior to accepting board directives. .

In the survey, participants were asked to rank their top three priorities. The first four outcomes were to have a process for recruiting and selecting the most qualified staff members, to maintain open channels of communication to and from staff, to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, and to give set a good example to staff.

When deciding what details to include in an announcement of a superintendent search, Vice President Roy Keith Lloyd said he liked the way labor relations was worded in the previous document used in the search. of a superintendent.

The board used the previous document and compared it to the survey results throughout this process.

The old document said, “Staff relations: The successful candidate creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, maintains open channels of communication to and from staff, and evaluates staff fairly and effectively.”

Lacey Shotwell, administrator of ED-6, also pointed out that the school division needs to do a better job of supporting staff development activities and encouraging professional growth, another area of ​​the survey.

Ultimately, the board agreed to include: “The successful candidate creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, maintains open communication channels to and from staff, has a process for recruiting and selecting high quality staff members, evaluates staff fairly and effectively and sets a good example for staff members.

Community relations remained the same as before saying, “The successful candidate effectively advocates for school issues and needs, inspires community confidence, and communicates effectively at the private and public levels.”

When reviewing school finances, board members decided that the successful candidate will lobby for school funding on behalf of the school division, develop and explain the budget rationale to the board and officials premises, proposes creative financing solutions and closely oversees budget development and procedures. .

When discussing school finances, ED-3 administrator Melissa Hicks suggested adding oversight of budget development and procedures, which garnered 218 results, as a top priority. by those interviewed, as the council will have to “tighten its belt” in the future.

Moving on to areas of expertise, Shotwell suggested adding school facility planning and construction as this will be most important to the council over the next five years.

Also included in the areas of expertise are budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, and school reform.

Board members also noted that the final pages of the survey results were comments focused on topics such as communication, openness, fairness, community support and school discipline.

They agreed to keep feedback in mind throughout the superintendent search process.

Before approving the superintendent’s advert with the full set of qualifications, Lloyd backtracked on the leadership experience required, but central office experience being preferred and suggested that central office experience might be more beneficial. because this person will have to lead the school division.

But Hicks and President Kathy Fraley argued that a manager had other skills he sought in a superintendent.

Fraley said a principal now knows how to get along with his staff and engage with students.

She noted that the former superintendent, Dr. Mark Lineburg, often visited schools and classrooms, and even recently taught classes.

Lloyd also said that saying primary experience is required could limit their candidate pool.

But, Shotwell said she disagreed and said she thought a limitation would be fine.

Freddie Edmunds, administrator of ED-5, argued that certain guidelines for eliminating people necessarily were.

“We have to have separations somewhere,” he said.

ED-8 administrator Walter Potts also said that while it may narrow their search, it may also lead them to the best candidate.

Ultimately, Shotwell made a motion to accept the superintendent’s announcement document, which was seconded by ED-7 administrator Keith McDowell and unanimously approved by the board.

Superintendent applications will be accepted until February 28.


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