[I sent the email below (with minor edits) to the school board sharing with them what Prince George's County is doing with their superintendent search process and expressing my opinion about our situation in Fairfax County - Greg]
Subject: Fwd: Update on the PGCPS Superintendent Search Process
Hey there, School Board Members,
Looks like PG County is a little ahead of the curve on public engagement with respect to their superintendent search process. Interesting that Dr. Hite "agreed to forego his severance in exchange for an early release." Did anyone on the previous school board discuss this idea with Dr. Dale last year?
If not, too bad. It isn't like his expertise is required to keep the system moving in the right direction. I would have thought it far better to get someone new in place sooner rather than later; you know, so they could get a team in place and reduce employee and community uncertainty. As it is, he is pretty much a lame duck. Having him stick around for the sake of continuity because of the big school board turnover just doesn't hold water with me. Is he really that important or that good? No and No.
Well, anyway, so much for our students, parents, teachers and community but it will probably work out just fine . . . for Jack Dale.
As for the future superintendent, I really don't want the type of "professional" who doesn't have confidence in his or her career that he or she would demand complete secrecy until the very last moment. Along these lines, if a school board were to fire a FCPS runner-up I think it says something about his or her being on shakey ground with his current employer. Kind of like "Okay, Jim Doe wasn't good enough for Fairfax which just confirms what we've thought all along . . that he isn't good enough for Peoria." Maybe this type of candidate is fleeing an uncomfortable situation. Definitely we don't him or her to flee here.
Stay hydrated my friends.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PGCPS Office of Communications
Date: Friday, July 13, 2012
Subject: Update on the Superintendent Search Process
Message from the Board of Education
Update on the Superintendent Search Process
July 13, 2012
Dear Members of the Prince George’s County Public Schools Community:
As most of you are aware, Dr. William R. Hite has announced his resignation. Now that his departure has been formalized, we would like to take this opportunity to let you – our community – know what lies ahead as we search for a new superintendent.
The Next 80 Days
While Dr. Hite’s contract contains a 120-day notice provision, he has agreed to forgo his severance, an amount equal to six months’ salary, in exchange for an early release. His official last day as superintendent is September 30. During this time, Dr. Hite will be engaged in ensuring a seamless start to the new school year. Plans to open schools on time with adequate staffing and supplies are already underway. In August, we will name an acting superintendent to work with Dr. Hite during the transition. The acting superintendent will serve until a permanent superintendent is found.
The Search Process
One of our most important responsibilities as the Board of Education is the selection and appointment of the superintendent. We met yesterday to outline the process for finding superintendent candidates. During this meeting, we reaffirmed our commitment to making this process thorough, transparent and in partnership with all of our stakeholders. This week, we will begin accepting proposals from search firms to assist us in identifying and assessing the best possible candidates. We have every expectation that the firm will help us to select a leader who can enhance our record of achievement, provide every student with a world-class education and strengthen our connection to the community.
Our goal is to ensure that the public receives regular communication regarding our progress. We will seek input from all of our constituents for candidate nominations and input on the future of PGCPS. We have established a website (www1.pgcps.org/superintendentsearch/), email (email@example.com) and other communication tools that will be used to provide the most up-to-date information on the search process. Additionally, we will host community meetings and forums throughout the County to solicit your input. Starting in August, the Board of Education will hold a series of community meetings to discuss the superintendent search process. A schedule of these forums will be available on our website. We anticipate officially launching the search in fall 2012 with the intention of completing it in spring 2013. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
We know that this is a critical juncture for Prince George's County and we are committed to selecting a superintendent who not only represents our community’s interests, but can best respond to its needs. The search process will be transparent with meaningful opportunities for community engagement. You will hear from your elected representatives on this board at every stage of the process. That is our promise to you. Nothing less than our children’s education, their future and the county’s progress are at stake.
We appreciate your support and look forward to your participation as the search for the next superintendent begins. If you have a question or need additional information, please let us know and we will do our best to respond in a timely fashion.
Prince George's County Board of Education
Greg Brandon is Vice President, Communications for the Fairfax County Council of PTAs, Communications Chair for the Virginia PTA and a member of the Fairfax Education Coalition. The opinions expressed here are his own. Greg expresses his opinions about public K-12 education on most Thursdays.