Updating the community on the search for a new superintendant was the main item on the agenda at the Lynbrook Board of Education meeting on Nov. 20.
Board Trustee William Belmont began by defending the board’s decision to hire consulting firm School Leadership LCC to assist with the superintendent search.
“The superintendent of a district is similar to a CEO of a company,” he said. “We have a $75 million budget, we have hundreds of employees and the position itself comes with a large salary. Spending money to retain a search firm is reasonable considering the importance of the position and the impact on the community.”
Last month, some residents spoke out against the board's decision to hire the firm, rallying for them to abort the search and appoint Interim Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak to the position on a more permanent basis.
Belmont clarified that the goal of the search committee is to obtain information about the culture and ideologies of the community and use it to build a profile for the desired superintendent. Ultimately, it is the board’s responsibility to identify and hire the next superintendant.
Dr. Charles Fowler, president of School Leadership, was on hand to share the information his search firm has gathered by conducting focus group meetings, open meetings and online surveys with stakeholders throughout the district. Fowler presented extensive lists of what stakeholders identified as the biggest challenges facing the new superintendent, as well as the desired characteristics, skills and background experiences of the candidates.
The next steps in the search process, according to Fowler, are to advertise the position in a myriad of venues in early December, set an application deadline of Jan. 21, 2013, conduct board interviews and School Leadership vetting, and finally appoint a new superintendent in March.
“I have the utmost confidence that in the end, through this search process, the candidate that we hire as our next superintendent will be the best candidate for the Lynbrook School District,” said Belmont.
Related: Lynbrook School Community Rallies to Keep Burak in Superintendent Role - Lynbrook Begins Search for New Schools Superintendent - Lynbrook School Board Appoints Interim Superintendent
In addition to discussing the search for a new superintendent, the board also announced plans for a Dr. Barbarino Memorial Tribute.
“We would like to have students design, in class, different ways to beautify the courtyard area in the high school and make it a Dr. Barbarino memorial park,” said Dr. Melissa Burak, interim superintendent. At the end of January, three of the best student designs will be submitted to the board, who will select the winner. The district is working on securing donations, so the project will not cost anything, added Burak.
A memorial night is also being discussed. “We are still exploring this option and trying to find a night where we don’t have an activity in the high school, which is difficult to find,” Burak stated.
SOUND OFF: What do you think are the biggest challenges Lynbrook's next superintendent will face? What qualities do you think the new schools chief should possess? Tell us in the comments section below.