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GUEST COLUMN

Thoughts on strategic planning and superintendent search

On Monday, Sept. 20, the McFarland Board of Education decided to have myself and the district’s administrative team conduct the process for both the superintendent search and the strategic planning process.

In order to do both of these processes in a complete and accurate fashion, it is my belief that we need to gather input from students, staff, parents, and community members. Therefore over the next four to six weeks, we will be reaching out to individuals to ask their thoughts and opinions on several questions related to these topics. Some of the questions that we will be looking for your feedback on are as follows:

  • What are 2-3 professional qualities or attributes that you would like to see in the next Superintendent?
  • What types of experience (e.g., education, prior experience in leadership, content expertise) would you like the next Superintendent to have and bring to the district?
  • What are some of the challenges that the next Superintendent will need to address in the district in the next few years?
  • What should the new Superintendent prioritize immediately after starting in the position?
  • What does the district do well and should continue?
  • What are two or three areas that the District should focus on during the next 3-5 years? How should we address these areas and how will we know we are successful?
  • Are there any new initiatives/programs you would like to see the District implement?
  • Are there any other thoughts, ideas or suggestions that you would like to provide the Board of Education?

In each of our school buildings and departments, Board and administrators will be meeting with staff members to solicit their thoughts and ideas on what they would like to see the Board look for in the next superintendent and also what they believe should be considered as the next five-year strategic plan is being developed. I am also in the process of putting together a survey that can be taken by students, staff members, parents and community members regarding both of these topics. The survey should be available in the next week or so. Once it is ready, we will send out an announcement to students, staff and parents and work with our local paper “The Thistle” to provide information to the general public. This survey will be able to be accessed by clicking on a link on our website www.mcfarland.k12.wi.us. We hope that, once the opportunity is available, you will take a few minutes to provide your thoughts, ideas and opinions to the Board as they proceed with both of these important projects.

As we are soliciting feedback, the Board is also in the process of reviewing and updating the job description for the superintendent, so that it truly represents what their expectations are for the person who is fortunate enough to be offered this position.

After the Board has gained your input they will use it to put together a list of qualifications that they will be looking for in the candidates. I anticipate posting for the position in late November or early December. When we get closer to this date, the Board will be looking for staff, parents and community members who would like to serve on one of its initial interviewing committees. I will be writing more about this process in the upcoming weeks.

Once the new superintendent is selected, the Board will work with this individual and the information that it has gained from you to continue working on the strategic plan. With everyone’s help and effort, I am certain that the Board will be able to select the right candidate for this position and also provide direction for the District as it continues its educational journey forward. However, they cannot do it without your help and support, so when you have the opportunity to provide input, please do so.

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