Bethel begins superintendent search


By Cecilia Fox - cfox@aimmediamidwest.com



BETHEL TWP. — The Bethel Local Schools board of education has kicked off its search for a new superintendent by hiring K-12 Business Consulting.

The board elected to go with the company’s gold level of search — which has the most community input, board member Todd Wright pointed out — at a cost of $17,900.

Superintendent Ginny Potter submitted a letter of resignation in October stating that she will leave the district when her contract expires in July 2019. She joined the district in 2014 in the midst of planning for a new high school addition.

At a meeting last month, the board heard from Debbie Campbell, one of K-12 Business Consulting’s associates.

“Our goal is to make your job easy,” Campbell told the board.

Campbell said the company assigns two full-time consultants to each search. She added that the goal would be to find a candidate who would work with Potter for several months before taking over in the summer.

Campbell said the job listing would be posted online on several sites and that the company would begin recruiting candidates immediately after being hired.

The gold level search includes a full day of meetings with administrators, staff and community stakeholders to develop a search profile for the district, as well as four to six weeks of recruitment of eight to 10 candidates.

“We get input from your stakeholders,” Campbell said. “We would have community meetings and have people come in and actually do a focus group and talk to us about what’s good about Bethel schools, what are some of the challenges you have, what are you looking for in your next superintendent?”

The consultants will meet with the board to screen initial candidates before a meet and greet with candidates, staff and community stakeholders. There will be up to two nights of first round interviews and one night of second round finalist interviews.

Board member Danny Elam said he preferred K-12 Business Consulting because of the success the district had with a previous hire through the company, Treasurer Brennon Hattery, earlier this year.

Wright added that he recommended the gold level search from K-12 Business Consulting because some newer board members included the replacement of the current superintendent in their campaign platforms.

“So I believe that we should have the most community involvement possible, even at a higher cost to us, because one of the platforms that was run upon for the new board members was the sacking of Mrs. Potter,” he said.

Board member Julie Reese said she agreed on the selection of K-12 Business Consulting, but for different reasons.

“My reasoning would be some of what you said, that there’s more involvement from the community. I also like the idea of having a dinner or something outside of the interview because it’s very difficult in two interviews to really know what that person’s like,” she said.

Reese said that she liked part of the proposal from the other company the district heard from, CF Education Solutions, which kept the candidates anonymous for part of the selection process.

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By Cecilia Fox

cfox@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Cecilia Fox at cfox@aimmediamidwest.com.

Reach Cecilia Fox at cfox@aimmediamidwest.com.