BVSU plans search for new sup't

ARLINGTON -- The Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union continued its discussion on the search for a new superintendent during a meeting with a representative from the Vermont School Boards Association.

Search Consultant Bill Miles presented recommendations and answered questions from the BVSU board and members of the community on Wednesday, regarding the application process and how best to proceed.

The board voted not to renew the contract of current Superintendent Karen Gallese in October, but has not yet provided a reason for their decision.

Miles advised the board to focus on shaping their priorities first and determine an offer salary and qualifications desired.

Throughout the meeting the focus of the board was on searching for a part time candidate, although they have not left out the option of hiring for a full time position.

Responding to a question from Arlington School Board member Gerald Woodard, Miles said advertising for a part time superintendent would attract applications from professionals who are already retired.

"I see it as a good thing," said Miles. "If you're going to keep with part time you're going to have a very select group of applicants. It's not going to be a principal looking to move to a superintendent position because that person already has a full time job."

Woodard said his cause for concern would be in hiring a candidate who may not be interested in staying in the position long term.

"We'd like to get settled in here for five, six-seven years," said Woodard.

Miles recommended focusing the search within a 25- to 30-mile radius, to encourage applicants who would not have to relocate.

"I would be really happy if we had 10 really good candidates," said Miles, who advised the board that the salary offered shouldn't be more than $5,000-$10,000 between minimum and maximum. He also recommended requiring a Vermont superintendent certification.

"If you go with the VSBA you will get candidates from New York, and you will need to give them time to get certified," said Miles, who estimated that appropriate candidates could be presented as early as February.

A steering committee consisting of board members, teachers and residents of the community would follow through with the interview process.

Miles said he would use the employment source as a major recruitment tool, which he noted has produced positive results in the past and is viewed by educators both nationally and internationally. The position will also be advertised locally.

Board members will decide whether to enlist the services of VSBA to facilitate the search and lead the recruitment process at a cost of $6,500 -- or to proceed on their own.

"They will advertise for us, help to form a committee, and do all of the recruitment, and then work with us to go through the candidates," said Board Chair Maureen Harvey, who remains in favor of moving forward with VSBA assistance.

The BVSU board will continue their discussion of the search -- including salary and job description -- at the next budget meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

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