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District sets final search criteria for superintendent

September 7, 2011

By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

The Starkville School District Board of Trustees finalized a list of criteria — based off of feedback from faculty, staff and community stakeholders — to be used in the search for a new district superintendent during its regular meeting last night.
Last month, the board was given a report from the Mississippi School Board Association that summarized the criteria suggested by stakeholders.
The board paid special attention to these suggestions when finalizing the list, with members referring back to the report a number of times to see what the community wanted.
After some discussion, the board decided to limit the candidates to those who have earned a doctoral degree from an accredited college or university, instead of the criteria of “master’s degree or higher” used by some other school districts in the state.
The applicant should also have at least six years of combined experience as a public school teacher and/or administrator, which was also higher than other districts’ criteria of four years of either teaching or administrative experience.
Board Assistant Secretary Eric Heiselt said he felt it was important the candidate have as much experience both inside the classroom and as an administrator as possible to be able to relate to both sides.
With that experience, the candidate will have to prove they have successful data-driven teaching and administrative experience in schools and communities with diverse populations. They will also have to demonstrate experience with budget preparation and sound fiscal management, as well as knowledge of facility planning and funding.
Curriculum has been a focus of the district, so board members said they felt it was important the right person for the job would be a demonstrated leader in curriculum issues which include special education, current vocational and technical trends, and technology in order to address the wide range of student needs and goals.
The candidate will also have to understand the value of community involvement, maintain high visibility in the schools and community and will live and be active in the district.
Faculty, staff and community stakeholders all expressed that this attribute would be of the highest importance for any person considered for the position.
On that same note, the candidate must have a commitment to working with the stakeholders to establish and implement a positive vision for the district, outlining short-term and long-range goals and objectives.
The criteria will be used in a brochure that will be published and distributed by the MSBA to advertise the position starting Sept. 12.
The brochure will also feature information about the school district and the community.
Applications for the vacant Starkville School District superintendent will be accepted by the Mississippi School Board Association from Sept. 12 to Oct. 31 after the school board approved in July.

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