Superintendent Search Survey

For grins, I am posting my response to the Unit 4 Superintendent Search Survey. This is sort of a follow-up to an earlier comment I made about what I want to see in a new school chief.


Participant: Parent

Please examine each of the following qualities and mark the 7 characteristics you believe are most important in the selection of a Superintendent:
_____ 1. Possesses strong academic credentials.
_____ 2. Possesses a Ph.D. or Ed.D degree.
_____ 3. Has administrative experience in a district/community similar to Unit 4/Champaign.
_____ 4. Maintains a commitment to ongoing self-development.
__X__ 5. Inspires trust.
_____ 6. Possesses high levels of self-confidence and optimism.
__X__ 7. Serves as a model for high standards of integrity and personal performance.
_____ 8. Owns strong interpersonal and communication skills: speaking, listening and writing.
__X__ 9. Works cooperatively with the Board of Education.
_____ 10. Is committed to a “student- first” philosophy in all decision-making.
_____ 11. Solicits the appropriate participation of others in planning and decision making.
_____ 12. Develops and directs an effective administrative team capable of advancing the district’s vision, maintaining a commitment to the professional growth of team members.
_____ 13. Delegates authority appropriately while maintaining accountability.
_____ 14. Holds experience developing a strategic plan designed to develop short and long-term district goals.
__X__ 15. Develops and articulates a vision of quality education for the district’s future.
_____ 16. Has proven successful management of district financial resources and strong knowledge of sound fiscal procedures.
_____ 17. Has strong working knowledge and experience with the collective bargaining process.
_____ 18. Is well-versed in school law and legislative processes.
_____ 19. Holds expertise in the development, interpretation, review and revision of school policy.
_____ 20. Shows successful experience in the selection and implementation of educational priorities consistent with the interests and needs of students, staff and the community.
_____ 21. Stays up-to-date on innovations and contemporary movements in education.
_____ 22. Is committed to the importance of both academic and extra-curricular programs.
_____ 23. Exhibits skilled leadership in the implementation of professional development programs.
_____ 24. Works to promote positive student behavior conducive to enhancing student achievement and secure a positive learning environment.
_____ 25. Owns strong working knowledge of technology applications for curriculum/instruction enhancement, communications, record keeping and fiscal management.
__X__ 26. Is capable of providing the leadership necessary to help the district respond to the challenges presented by an ethnically and culturally diverse community.
_____ 27. Maintains visibility in district buildings.
__X__ 28. Holds a high interest in community visibility with a broad range of community groups and organizations.
__X__ 29. Partners and maintains a mutually beneficial relationship with the business community, the University of Illinois and Parkland College.
_____ 30. Works effectively with the media to promote the District and inform the community.

Please identify the 3 key priorities the district should consider in selecting the new Superintendent:

  1. The Board of Education should consider a Superintendent that they work well with, above all else. Since the Superintenent is not elected, he/she is only beholden to the Board, thus there must be a good working relationship between the two entities.
  2. The District and the Board should consider the fact that the School District is moving into a new era; we are moving out of the Consent Decree Era. This is a two-sided coin. Many of the past issues are merely swept under the rug and not truly dealt with (ie, institutionalized racism, division among cultures and classes). On the other hand, it is a fresh opportunity to tear down and rebuild that which is not ideal. We as a School District and a community need to learn from our mistakes.
  3. The District should consider the current relationship between the District and the community; especially the lack of unity and in some cases, outright apathy. A high-quality Superintendent can help turn that around and bring both parties into a collaborative effort.



In the above list of 30 “qualities” are included many items which I would consider “actions” or promises, not necessarily “qualities” per se.

In terms of qualities, I would want a strong leader who is not afraid of change, but has the wisdom to engage in change appropriately, not merely for the sake of change “just to see what happens”. I would like a Superintendent that listens to his staff and especially the Board, but is not hamstrung by indecisiveness.

In terms of “actions”, I desire a School Chief who identifies realistic long-term goals and sets actionable waypoints or milestones along the way as a measuring guide of our progress. And while it seems really cool to have a Superintendent who listens to the community, I would find it more critical that the person in this position recognizes the value of the Board of Education and invests in that relationship first.

Lastly, some of the items on that list seem like they are directly under a different position currently. For instance, Gene Logas does an awesome job with finances, and I would not want to burden a new Superintendent with those direct responsibilities considering they are well taken care of. I do see a significant importance in the fact that the Superintendent is ultimately responsible for everyone on the management team – as such, I would expect our future Superintendent to take that responsibility very seriously with integrity and honesty.

2 Responses to “Superintendent Search Survey”

  1. Unit 4 is busy with the Superintendent search, but the RSS is silent « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] Unfortunately, I am the kind of person that wants more details than that. We hear that over 800 surveys have been returned. Great! I am looking forward to hearing a summary or analysis of those surveys. […]

  2. Superintendent Candidates: overall impression so far « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] matches the profile, with Dr. Wiegand coming in at a close second. If I look at what I want (my own profile), I am scratching my head – none meet the high standards that Dr. Malito has set. I am sorry, […]

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