January 23, 2014 | Vol. 40, No. 4

Editorial: Local superintendent search effort breaks the mold

Too often elected officials are turning their administrative hiring duties over to corporate head-hunter organizations which advertise and screen candidates to fill positions for city managers, hospital administrators, police chiefs and school superintendents. We applaud the Petersburg school board for breaking the mold, by conducting the hiring process in-house.

Their current superintendent Rob Thomason will write and publish the advertisements, screen resumes, post the hiring timeline, schedule telephone and in-person interviews and then work with the school board to make the final selection.

Too often, elected bodies say they don’t have time or expertise to conduct the search process. For us, hiring the next administrator is the most important job for which they were elected to perform.

The persons best qualified to bring the next administrator on board are the members of the school board and the school staff who live and in many cases work within the Petersburg Borough.

No corporate executive search firm will match the anticipated enthusiasm and salesmanship that Thomason and his board will bring to the table.

The hiring process is a two-way street involving the exchange of information between the candidates and the school board. No corporate search firm can sell Petersburg as well as the people who live here. We all know it takes a lot of salesmanship, personal sharing of information, even encouragement to convince the next school administrator to pull up stakes and head for a new job in Petersburg.

Oh yes, there is one more benefit. The school board will likely save the district an easy $7,000 or more by conducting the search themselves.

We applaud the board for the way they are pursuing the replacement of their retiring superintendent.

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