The Herald Bulletin

January 23, 2014

ACS board to interview superintendent candidates Saturday

Interim Superintendent Edsell one of applicants

By Stuart Hirsch The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Members of the Anderson Community School Corp. board are scheduled to interview three superintendent candidates at a closed-door meeting Saturday morning.

The three candidates were selected from a list of six applicants, said board President Ben Gale. The interviews will be conducted during an executive session at the Flagship Enterprise Center beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The board of trustees is seeking a permanent successor to Felix Chow, who resigned last August after three years as superintendent.

The board hired Tim Edsell as interim superintendent in October. The 42-year-old career educator was superintendent at Northeastern Wayne School Corp. at the time and has expressed a desire to earn the job on a permanent basis.

Edsell confirmed this week that he has applied for the job, but would not say if he’s one of the candidates who will be interviewed Saturday. “I don’t want to compromise the integrity of the search process,” Edell said, and referred questions to Gale, who would not say if Edsell will be interviewed.

During his tenure, Chow turned around the school district’s fiscal deficit, and improved both graduation rates and overall student achievements.

“We’re looking for someone who is strong on education leadership and fiscally responsible,” someone who will also be active and visible in the community, Gale said. “Fiscal health is important, but student achievement is always the top priority. We’ve made huge strides in the past few years, but we still have improvements to make.”

Gale said one in the near future is to focus on and improve vocational education programs. “We definitely have seen a need to do more with vocational education than we have in the past.”

Tom Forkner, president of the Anderson Federation of Teachers, supplied a list of attributes and skills the union would like to see in the next superintendent, and presented that list to the school board last week.

He said the ideal candidate will have proven leadership skills and management ability, lots of teaching experience in public schools, He or she should be comfortable collaborating with teachers to improve education and be in favor of collective bargaining.

In addition, Forkner said the next superintendent should have solid grant writing abilities and be experienced working with data since that’s become such an important factor in assessing student and school success over the past several years.

While not speaking for her colleagues, board member Stephanie Moran said her vision of the ideal candidate is someone who has an aptitude for both leadership and management, integrity, honest and transparency.

In addition, she said the ideal candidate must be committed to Anderson, and able and willing to tout Anderson’s education story and communicate to stakeholders that “we are able to produce high levels of very competent, experienced, work-ready graduates with character and integrity,” Moran said.

After Saturday’s interviews, Gale said, the trustees will seek additional public comments about prospective superintendent qualifications at its next meeting on Feb. 11.

He said the board hopes to name a new superintendent in March.

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