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Board Chooses Superintendent Search Firm
Linda Mah
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Board Chooses Superintendent Search Firm

Michigan Association of School Boards Selected

The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education has selected the Michigan Association of School Boards Executive Search Services to help it complete its search for a new superintendent.

MASB was one of three executive search firms that participated in information sessions with the board on Aug.13, from the pool of four firms that submitted applications in response to the board’s request for proposals. The other two firms that presented were Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates and Ray and Associates.

Former KPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice was named state superintendent this spring. Deputy Superintendent Gary Start was named interim superintendent while the board conducts the search for a permanent superintendent.

The MASB is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and training for school districts in Michigan.

Board members praised the MASB team for bringing a depth of knowledge about the Kalamazoo community to the interview.

Board Vice President Ken Greschak, who is one of the three search committee members along with Board President Patti Sholler-Barber and Treasurer TiAnna Harrison, made the motion in support of MASB at Thursday’s board meeting.

Greshak noted that all three firms were national in scope and well credentialed, but said, “MASB is the best fit for Kalamazoo given our time and place.”

He mentioned that the board had a rubric to use in evaluation of the firms. Hazard received five first place votes and two second place votes, while MASB received four first place votes and three second place votes.

MASB has “an in-depth understanding of our district,” he said. “They could speak to the impact of The Promise. They could speak to the impact of the importance of communicating with all of the stakeholders. On balance, for me, MASB is going to provide us the shortest learning curve and the most direct assistance in doing what we need to do.”

Trustee Tandy Moore said MASB won her vote by “speaking to the other folks in the room very intentionally throughout” their presentation. And, she noted, while the firms all offered comparable services, MASB cost about half of Hazard.

MASB was the least expensive of the three firms, charging $7,500 at the beginning of the search and another $7,500 at the successful conclusion of the search.

According to the RFP, the search firm is expected to:

• Provide an outline of recommendations for the search process and work with the superintendent search committee to implement a search process including, development of a plan and timeline for recruitment, selection and communications;

• Meet with board members to clarify and determine desirable qualifications, experience, and characteristics of candidates;

• Engage the community, staff, students, and other stakeholders to develop a profile of the desired qualities of the next superintendent;

• Prepare a position description;

• Identify qualified candidates and encourage qualified internal and external candidates to apply;

• Conduct all aspects of advertising, solicitation of candidate applications, and 3 background screening of top candidates

• Assist search committee and board as requested with assessment of pool of initial responses received from interested candidates; and

• Assist board as requested in further review and identification of highest qualified candidates

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