Out of all of the variables that make a difference in the selection of a new Superintendent one of the most important to the success of a search is the process to be used. By utilizing a systematic approach to developing the desired characteristics of the next leader, vetting the candidates against that criteria, methodically considering the strengths and areas of concern for each candidate, and engaging in a facilitated conversation about which candidate is the best fit for the District; the Board significantly increases the likelihood of selecting a candidate who can lead the District now and well into the future.
“We decided to trust in the process that you put forth.”
Houston Independent School District
Committing to a disciplined process ensures Boards select outstanding leaders. An effective process provides for meaningful community engagement, thoughtful Board discussion, and objective decision-making. It often proves to be a meaningful bonding experience for the Board, as well, by engaging the Board members in discussions about their hopes and aspirations for the school district and the children they serve. More often than not, Boards find that the search selection process brings greater clarity and commitment to the mission and vision of the school system and Board’s leadership role in fulfilling that mission.
The Houston Independent School Board (HISD) serves as an excellent example of the importance and success of the search process. HISD just completed their Superintendent search by unanimously appointing Richard Carranza as their next Superintendent of Schools. Board members personally and publicly expressed their appreciation and support for the search process. They felt the process provided them with a strong slate of candidates to consider, the time and opportunity to fully engage the candidates in meaningful dialog, the background information necessary to fully vet the candidates, and the facilitation support needed for them to fully debate the pros and cons of each candidate and come to a decision that they could all support. The process helped the Board come together, even though they had previously been divided on a number of issues, and to grow as a team in fulfilling their responsibilities to the children of Houston.