CHAMPLAIN — Northeastern Clinton Central School Board wants public input as it selects a new superintendent.Surveys ask residents to identify strengths they would like in a new district leader."We'd like to have as many responses as we can," said board Vice Chairwoman Linda Gonyo-Horne.Working under the guidance of Champlain Valley Educational Services, the district is about to advertise the position, which will open with the retirement of Robert Hebert in early July.
The questionnaires are going home with each elementary-school student; can be picked up at the District Office and principal's offices at the Middle/High School, Rouses Point and Mooers elementary buildings; and will be available at a number of commercial establishments throughout the district.Asking respondents to rate 28 attributes as "required," "useful" or "not important," the survey touches on a candidate's ability to explain complex data to both academic and non-academic audiences, to put others at ease in conversation, to relate well to students and to involve parents and the community in the learning process.It asks how important it is that a potential superintendent has worked in a similar community and/or district and is active in school improvement at many levels.
Respondents are also asked, among other questions, how vital it is to them that an applicant has had experience negotiating with unions and with school finance and business management.That last item is one Gonyo-Horne said the board wants to see."We want the superintendent to be a business manager," she said, while noting that members recognize such candidates are few and far between these days.Space is included on the form, which invites response from everyone from parents, staff, students and residents, for comments on important issues and concerns the district should address as well.
The School Board is also looking for a few volunteers from both the community at large and businesspeople to serve on the superintendent search committee.Members must be available, Gonyo-Horne said, for candidate interviews May 8, 22 to 24 and 29 to 31.Deadline for the return of surveys, the format for which was adapted from the one distributed before the hiring of Hebert in 2003, is April 19.That earlier search was the first NCCS had undertaken in more than two decades, precipitated by the retirement of longtime Superintendent Chris de Grandpre."Unfortunately, people don't stay for 20 years anymore," Gonyo-Horne said.