Consultants Debbie Raizes and John Chambers of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) presented the Pelham Board of Education with a Leadership Profile report Monday night that will help guide the way into the next phase of the district superintendent hiring search.
Raizes and Chambers said the document will give them a sense of the district's priorities and also provide candidates with some insight into the community as well.
"Our sense after this [conducting the community response sessions and leadership profile report] is even stronger that this will be an attractive job," said Chambers.
While the report will give some direction to the recruitment phase of the search, Raizes and Chambers said they have recommended the next phase of the search be confidential.
In order to recruit effectively and attract the strongest candidates, Raizes said HYA must be able to assure potential candidates of the confidentiality of the process. To gain a fuller sense of the applicants' experience and suitability for the superintendent position, Raizes said she and Chambers will utilize HYA's network of more than 100 consultants spread in the region and across the country.
At this point of the search, HYA will screen the applications gleaned from advertising, referrals and their own proactive recruitment. Raizes said she and Chambers would aim to interview 15-20 candidates in person before selecting a narrower slate to refer to the school board members who would in turn interview 2 or 3 final candidates and make site visits before choosing a final candidate, if any.
"We will facilitate your coming to a conclusion. We’re not there to push you into making a decision," said Raizes.
The leadership profile is the fruit of meetings with 70 focus group participants and the responses of 327 internet surveys conducted over the past three months now distilled into a unified document.
The report provides a snapshot of the values and concerns of the district as represented by parents, students, staff, administrators, faculty, board members and other community stakeholders.
"Far and away the most consistent and first thing we heard," described Chambers, "People here want a great communicator. Also we heard a real need for a listener…somebody who will listen carefully and use that listening to draw groups together."
In addition to strong communication skills, Chambers said other characteristics also emerged as very important to the community in the the next superintendent: including vision, strong leadership, competence in school finance and previous education experience.
Consulting firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates- represented by former Scarsdale school board president Debbie Raizes and Bronxville school superintendent John Chambers- will now move into an active recruiting phase.