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Trustees set to begin superintendent search

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a special meeting Tuesday night to plan the search for a new superintendent. The board hired firm Hazard Young Attea Associates to lead the search and representatives talked with Trustees about the process and schedule.


The first steps are community engagement. Each of the school board members will be interviewed individually about the qualifications they want in a new superintendent. The interim superintendent will interviewed individually, too. An online survey will be created for the community and focus groups will be conducted as well. This input will allow the firm to build a Leadership Profile for the new superintendent. Trustees began to discuss groups that could be involved in the profile-building process. In addition to identifying groups within the community and school district, the firm recommended scheduling a series of open meetings at varying times of the day. The reps told the board members the survey they use is research-based with the characteristics of successful superintendents. The survey asks respondents to prioritize those traits they feel are the most critical for ECISD. Trustees settled on seven groups of people to be surveyed – Board of Trustees, administrators, community members, parents of students, support staff, teachers, and students. The survey will be available in English and Spanish through the Ector County ISD website. To note: the community survey will be online for the community to access by November 30.


The second phase of the search involves recruiting. The firm advertises for candidates, screens them and check references, and drafts interview questions. The school board will then be in charge of the selection with the firm assisting with two workshops to help narrow the field of candidates. The firm suggests interviewing five or six candidates during the first round. After the selection is made, the firm is available to help the school board with a transition plan, governance and goal setting if necessary. The search is likely to last about two months from the time the Leadership Profile is finalized.


The firm recommended the school board use a confidential search process – meaning the names of interested candidates will not be released publicly until a lone finalist is named – because the search often includes recruitment of superintendents who are not necessarily looking for a new job at the time. The firm also recommended the board keep the qualifications broad at the beginning so as not to eliminate potential candidates from the start. For example, requiring a doctorate, or previous experience. Those types of decisions can be made later in the process. Trustees added they want the search done nationally, not just focused on Texas. To start, the salary will be listed as competitive with similarly situated school districts. The package of salary and benefits will ultimately depend on the top candidate’s skill, experience, success, and the hiring market.


A detailed schedule will be finalized in the coming days.


The meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.