WARREN CITY SCHOOLS Superintendent quest begins

Input from school personnel and the community will be sought.
WARREN -- Warren City Schools began a national search Wednesday for a new superintendent who can guide the district through its building program and other challenges.
The board of education voted to hire the Ohio School Boards Association to conduct the search at a cost of $5,900 plus expenses not to exceed $2,000. These expenses could include items such as candidates' travel, lodging and mileage.
"It will be a national search, and I think that is extremely important to this board," said Linda Metzendorf, board president. "We would be remiss to this community if we did not look as broad as we could."
The board agreed the next superintendent and family must live in the district. Also, the board would prefer a three-year contract.
"Committed to the school district means you live here and pay the taxes," stressed board member Lynn Gibson.
Schools Superintendent Betty English plans to step down when her contract expires in July. English has led the 6,500-pupil system since 1999 and served as assistant superintendent for a short period before that. The district has about 1,000 employees.
"It's a very attractive district," said Kathleen LaSota, OSBA deputy director of search services and board development.
Three-month search
LaSota told the board that the search process usually takes 3 1/2 months. The job posting will be sent to 2,500 addresses in Ohio and posted on the Internet and National School Boards Association site.
LaSota will meet with "focus groups" at the elementary, middle and high school levels, to include all staff at every job classification. Meetings also will be held with the community at large for input, and school board members will be asked not to attend.
The application process will be secure -- not even board members will know who is applying -- to eliminate possible lobbying or political bias. "That keeps the process pure," LaSota said.
The closing date for applications is March 31. All applicants -- including those from within the school district -- will be screened by an OSBA team of current and former superintendents, who will rank them based on criteria supplied by the school district.
The board then will have a screening meeting to determine a first round of interviews, which tentatively would be the week of April 18.
The names of applicants who will get interviews will be made public, the board agreed.
A second interview round would be the week of April 25. A decision could be reached and an offer made May 2, and an offer to employ by mid-May.
English was paid $97,501 this year. She was responsible for 12 elementary and three middle schools, as well as Warren G. Harding High School.
Salary range for her replacement is to be determined.