Q&A

Why is the school board conducting a search for a superintendent?

Long-time superintendent Debbie LeBeau retired at the end of the 2017-18 school year for health reasons. Dr. Douglas Kernutt, who has served in various leadership capacities in the district since 2007, is serving as interim superintendent for the 2018-19 school year while the board conducts a search process to select a new superintendent.

What will the overall superintendent search process look like?

This fall, the school board created a subcommittee consisting of directors Alyssa Anderson Pearson and Carole Jacobs to coordinate the superintendent search process. It also selected a national search firm, with an extensive track record of success, to assist in developing the search process and identifying the best possible candidates for board consideration. Community input is an important part of the selection process. The consultant will gather stakeholder input on the desired qualities of a new superintendent through listening sessions with staff, students, parents and community, as well as an online survey. The board will review this input as it develops its required criteria and job description for superintendent.

The position will then be posted for internal applicants for consideration by the school board. The board will conduct interviews of internal candidates and host community forums to gather community input. The school board will then determine if an internal candidate meets the criteria to be selected as superintendent. In the event a suitable candidate is not determined to meet the requirements, the school board will open the position to an external search.

If an external search is conducted, the school board will conduct interviews of external candidates and community forums to gather community input. It would then make a decision on the selection of the new superintendent.

Why will the board consider internal candidates first?

The school board wants to find the best possible candidate to lead the school district forward in creating promising futures for our community’s students. It selected a national search firm, with an extensive track record of success, to assist the board in developing the structure of the search process and identifying the best possible candidates to bring forward for consideration.

Because the district has potentially viable internal candidates who may be considered for the position, the consultant recommended the school board consider internal candidates before extending the search to candidates outside the organization. The consulting firm shared that school districts have experienced a significant reduction in the number of external candidates applying for a position when they know an internal candidate is applying.  

Internal applicants will be considered based on the criteria and job description developed by the school board using a fair and rigorous process. The board will conduct interviews of internal candidates and community forums to gather additional community input. It will then determine if an internal candidate meets the criteria to be selected superintendent. In the event a suitable internal candidate is not determined to meet the requirements, the school board will open the position to an external search. 

What is the timeline for the superintendent search?

In January, the consultant will gather community input on the desired qualities of the new superintendent through listening sessions with staff, students, families and community, as well as an online survey. The school board will consider this input as it develops the job profile.

Once the job application is complete, the position will be posted and applications for internal candidates will considered. Candidate interviews and community forums will be held in February.

The school board is expected to make a decision in late February on an internal candidate. If an internal candidate is not selected, the board will open the position to an external search, with interviews and community forums in April.

How will community be involved in the superintendent search process?

The school board values and appreciates the importance of community input into this important decision-making process. Staff, students, families and community will be engaged at different times. It will seek input as it develops the superintendent criteria and at community forums with candidates. 

How will the district communicate about the superintendent search process?

The district’s community relations department will communicate with the community about the superintendent search in a variety of ways: district website, social media (Facebook, Twitter), news releases and through to the district’s key communicator list. Please email bmiller@cloverpark.k12.wa.us to be added to the key communicator list.