DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — In a Dec. 2 meeting, the DeKalb County Board of Education accepted a superintendent search profile that will help guide its selection of the school district’s next leader.

The profile reflects information gathered through a community input process conducted by BWP and Associates, the national search firm assisting the board in finding a new superintendent. 

BWP collected feedback from parents, teachers, students, staff, community groups, governmental officials and school board members throughout November. They heard from 1,900 individuals via face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions, community forums, hard copy feedback and an online survey

According to the data from the input process, members of the community believe the top three most important skills the next DeKalb superintendent must have are financial (61.4 percent), communication (59.1 percent) and managerial (56.0 percent) skills. 

Community members said the top three characteristics the next superintendent should exhibit are integrity (65.1 percent), commitment to the community (49.6 percent) and good judgment (47.0 percent). 

The responses indicated the community is looking for someone with a background as an educator and high-level administrative experience in a large, multicultural, urban district with a proven record of success. They are looking for someone student-focused and committed to academic success, who also possesses experience in finance and political savvy. 

The public said it wanted a leader who was transparent and accountable, and someone who could inspire change and was unafraid to go against the norm.

Representatives from BWP acknowledged finding a candidate who met all the criteria would be a high bar to clear. They advised the School Board that to attract the best candidates it was important keep the applications confidential for the time being and to show a unified front.  

“Every member of our community and staff should have a say in who the new leader of the district is going to be,” Board Chair Dr. Michael A. Erwin said. “With BWP and Associates’ thorough and transparent process, I am confident the new leader will be reflective of the values and commitments that this community holds. The board fully supports the desired superintendent profile, and we are looking forward to the next step in the selection process.

December 14 is the application deadline for the superintendent position. The BWP search consultants will then complete comprehensive reference and background checks on applicants.

Last summer, then Superintendent Stephen Green announced he would not seek an extension to his contract which was set to end June 2020. In November, the school board voted to terminate his contract immediately. 

Ramona Tyson was named interim superintendent as the Board of Education continues to search for a new leader. Tyson has announced she will retire on June 30, 2020, and the school district is set to find a new superintendent by then. 

To read the full superintendent profile report and track the search, visit https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/superintendent-search/2019-2020/

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