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Greenwich Wants a Superintendent Who Will Stay

GREENWICH, Conn. – When it comes to the next school superintendent, the community wants an experienced leader who is committed to staying in Greenwich, says the Greenwich Board of Education, which released its profile Friday evening of the most important characteristics in a candidate.

The firm Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates was charged with holding focus groups of students, parents as well as faculty and staff; individual interviews; and open community forums throughout January to develop a leadership profile for its national superintendent search. The board hopes to appoint a candidate by July 1.

During focus groups, people talked constantly of finding a midcareer leader looking to stay in the district “for the long run.” Residents also said they wanted someone who had thick political skin and who would communicate effectively and transparently.

About 360 community members, parents, students and administrators responded to the online survey done by the search committee. More than half of the respondents were community members: 69 percent were parents, slightly less were teachers, another 5 percent were administrators and support staff, and 3 percent were students.

The top-rated characteristic respondents wanted, at 55 percent, was someone who has a clear vision to provide educational services and implement change. This was highest attribute among community members, with 57 percent responding positively.

Also, 50 percent of respondents wanted someone who can recruit, employ, evaluate and retain personnel. It was also one of the highest rated among community members, with 58 percent responding positively.

And 48 percent wanted someone who can listen to and represent the interests and concerns of everyone in the community. Students voted 100 percent for this, as well as the ability to increase academic performance for all students, including special needs populations.

Administrators, teachers and support staff were overwhelmingly most concerned with finding someone who can foster a positive professional climate of mutual trust among personnel. This characteristic was voted one of the highest among those surveyed overall, with 48 percent responding positively.

The lowest rated characteristic among all respondents was finding someone to act in accordance with the district’s mission, vision and core beliefs.

The firm will use the report to recruit candidates in the coming months. Check out the full report here.

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