VISD prepares to hire superintendent by May 31

March 6, 2012 at 9 p.m.
Updated March 6, 2012 at 9:07 p.m.

If all goes according to a plan set forth at a special meeting Tuesday, the Victoria school district will name a new superintendent on May 31.

The law calls for a 21-day period between naming a finalist and signing a contract, meaning the new superintendent could take over the job by the time Bob Moore's contract expires in June.

Moore announced on Feb. 20 he would not renew his yearly superintendent contract due to health concerns.

"What Bob has done in Victoria strengthens our faith in the process we employ in searching for excellent leaders," said Victor Rodriguez, who will help the search for a new superintendent.

Rodriguez works with Illinois-based BWP and Associates, the same search firm VISD employed when it hired Moore six years ago.

Rodriguez and another consultant, Nolan Estes, explained the four phases of the search process to board members at Tuesday night's meeting.

Phase one: Create a candidate profile, including things like academic training qualifications, years of experience and personal qualities. To build this job description, the search firm will compile perspectives from employees within VISD and community members. The firm plans on hosting focus group sessions to get input from entities like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary clubs, higher education, parent teacher organizations and other civic groups. Candidate surveys in Spanish and English will also be available to the public.

Phase two: Recruit candidates. VISD plans on searching nationally for its next superintendent, which will require advertisements in major publications like newspapers and education journals. Estes said about half of the superintendent finalists will probably come from contacts the firm calls personally.

"Most of the people you want to have as a superintendent aren't looking for a job right now. We have to market the product," Estes said. "Bob Moore wasn't looking for a job."

Phase three: Evaluate how candidates match up to the profile created by VISD. The firm will sort through the applications and recommend some of the most qualified candidates to the school board, who will then be in charge of interviewing the semi-finalists. Three board members may then visit two finalists' schools.

"We expect a larger pool than we had at the last search," Estes said. "The district had more challenges, but now has done so well, we will have a lot of interest in the job."

Phase four: Announce a finalist and negotiate a contract.

The board spent the rest of the meeting working out schedules for what is shaping up to be a hectic May. At the board's regularly-scheduled meeting on May 17, the board is expected to decide on semi-finalists, who will interview the entire following week.

Texas law protects the confidentiality of candidates for superintendents and calls for school boards to only release the names of finalists, of which there is usually only one, said VISD's attorney, Clay Cain.



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