On Monday, Michael Adamson with the Indiana State School Boards Association met with the Culver School Board to discuss some of the services the organization offers. “We do not pick your superintendent,” he explained. “That’s not our job. That’s your job. I’ve sat where you folks sit. I was a board member for 20 years myself and went through a couple superintendent searches, and I can tell you, this is the most important job that you have is selecting the next CEO of this school corporation. But that’s your job and your job exclusively.”
Instead, he says ISBA works to remove obstacles and make it easier for school boards to make decisions. “What ISBA would do is be instrumental in receiving your applications for you,” he said. “We would review them for completeness, have all the interaction with the candidates to make sure the packages are up-to-date and ready for you. We would review them against your criteria and share with you which applications have met your criteria, which applications may not have met that.”
One thing the school board will have to decide is what type of person it wants for the position. To figure that out, Adamson said the board may want to consider holding some type of focus group with faculty members and possibly the local community. At the same time, he cautioned board members against being too restrictive when looking for applicants. “You are a prime candidate – and don’t be offended when I say this – as a starter school, simply because you will attract a lot of first-time superintendents,” he said. “That’s not a bad thing. Don’t misunderstand me. Everybody wants to have somebody with 10 years of central office experience and 20 years in the classroom, and quite honestly, that’s just not realistic today. There are a number of excellent candidates who are looking for their first superintendency.”
Culver’s last superintendent search resulted in the hiring of first-time superintendent Vicki McGuire. She remained with the corporation for two years before moving to Eastern Hancock Schools in central Indiana.
For now, the school board’s next steps will be to decide whether to use ISBA’s services and when to begin the application process. Adamson recommends either making the applications available during Christmas break or the beginning of January. In either case, the search process is expected to take about four months. That includes a period of about 45 days when the job will be posted on various websites and candidates will be able to submit their applications, as well as an 18-day period for legal advertising and approval of a superintendent’s contract. Interim Superintendent Chuck Kitchell plans to officially retire at the end of June. The cost of ISBA’s assistance largely depends on how much help the school board wants.