DALLAS – The Dallas School District began its search for a permanent superintendent this week with a request that the public provide feedback on what traits and qualifications the new leader should have.
“I call this first phase the engagement phase, which is about me getting up to speed with where your community is at, what your needs are, and with you as board members — individually and collectively — what you are looking for,” said Hank Harris with Human Capital Enterprises, the consultant assisting with the search.
On May 4, Harris met with the board to set up a general schedule for the search, which will extend until next school year.
During the initial engagement process, Harris said he will use focus groups, interviews with community members and staff, and a survey.
Following interviews and surveys, Harris will create a candidate profile based on what he is told during the engagement process.
“I will come back to you with a one-page document saying this is my best assessment of what I’m hearing that the community is saying they want in a superintendent,” Harris said.
He said he will present that at the June 8 meeting. Recruitment begins in October and Harris will present a slate of candidates for the board to select for interview in late November. First-round interviews will take place in December and second-round interviews will be in January, with an announcement of the Dallas School Board’s choice in late January.
Decisions about salary range will happen later in the process, but before recruitment begins.
The board decided to keep the process confidential until the announcement of its choice.
Board Chairman Mike Blanchard said keeping the candidates confidential will move the process faster because the finalists don’t have to notify their current boards or employers when they haven’t been offered a job yet.
“If you’ve done your job right and we’ve done our job right on the front end of identifying the qualities of a good candidate, I’m comfortable with keeping it confidential up until the announcement of a finalist,” Blanchard said. “I feel like that’s a little better process than what was experienced in the past.”
Those interested in taking the survey can find it on the district website at dallas.k12.or.us.