So your Board needs to do a superintendent search during the coming year due to the superintendent’s retirement or possibly the need for a change in leadership. Most of the Board has never conducted a superintendent search before and you are wondering what you need to be doing to prepare for a search. Some thoughts and reflections about the search process may be helpful.
First and foremost, you should not be anxious about having to conduct a search. Yes, it will be time consuming for the Board. Yes, it is a very important decision. And, yes, it requires Board members to think about many issues they may not have considered in the past. But, it can also be one of the most important decisions you will make and one of the most rewarding experiences you may have as a Board member.
Many Boards have found that while the search process can be exhausting, it is also a great opportunity to take stock in the current state of the District and where the Board wants it to go in the future. The selection of a new leader can often be a rebirth for the District and a profound and meaningful bonding experience for the Board. It is important that you approach the experience with an open mind, a sense of purpose, and a strong commitment to be fully engaged.
There are several important decisions and considerations you should investigate before the Board starts the search process. These topics, if addressed early on in your decision-making, can make the process run smoothly and help to ensure the selection of a great leader for your district.
Lastly, it is never too early to start thinking about transition. While the immediate task may be selecting the new leader, it is also important for the Board to think about transitioning the new leader into the organization once selected. These considerations should be made as part the design of the search process and should not wait until the new leader is selected.