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February 13, 2013

Agency reviews superintendent options with New Castle board

NEW CASTLE — The Pennsylvania School Boards Association hopes to have a superintendent hired for the New Castle district by July 1.

That is a tentative date, and a lot of factors could affect the actual hiring date, according to Tom Templeton, a PSBA spokesman who addressed the school board Monday.

He and James Manley of PSBA, a retired superintendent, discussed the search process with the board. The members generally agreed they want a leader who brings positive reinforcement to the district, preferably with a doctorate degree and a good code of ethics.

The board voted 5-3 last month to hire PSBA for $15,000 to conduct the search.

Its other option would have been to use the free services of the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV, which has assisted local school districts in the hiring of superintendents and administrative staff.

Last month the board hired Stanley Magusiak as the acting superintendent. Those duties are in addition to his existing responsibilities as assistant to the superintendent. The board is expected to adjust Magusiak’s wages at its meeting tonight.

WIDE-RANGING SEARCH

Monday night, Templeton told the board the position will be advertised this week inside and outside of Pennsylvania. He said his agency will survey teachers and parents as part of the hiring process.

“The superintendent’s position is not going to get a large volume of candidates,” he said. “We are putting this into as many venues as we can to attract higher quality candidates.”

The application deadline will be in late March or early April. Each candidate will be asked to complete an application and provide a two-page resume and cover letter, Templeton said, noting the candidates must pass criminal and other background checks.

Magusiak pointed out that many superintendents who want to apply might be afraid of their respective districts finding out. Templeton responded that the applicants would not apply at the district office; rather, they would apply to the PSBA and their names would remain confidential through the process. He said after the meeting that the job interviews would be private before the board. He said the board would establish a salary range for the position, but that has not been discussed yet.

He asked the board members what characteristics they would want in a superintendent.

“A strong leader,” commented Mary Ann Tofel. “Someone interested in education and the personal development of the students.”

The person should have a strong positive influence on the teachers, she said. “I like to see happy people. The superintendent needs to figure out a way to keep everyone on a positive note. I also think it’s essential that we maintain a general standard of ethics. ”

“You’re looking for a certain esprit de corps in your organization,” Templeton said.

Tofel she would like the superintendent to have a positive relationship with the school board.

“I think we should be able to walk out of here and feel we spoke our piece here, and then it is over,” she commented.

“It’s a team of 10 concept,” Templeton said, adding the board is the superintendent’s employer and must hold the superintendent accountable for the organization.

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