Tapping the interim superintendent for the full-time job without even posting it?
This is no way to choose a leader, Anderson Community Schools Board of Trustees.
A national search for top candidates should be automatic.
And you should ask your stakeholders for their thoughts on the most important skills, experiences, values and personality traits for the next superintendent of schools.
Parents are deeply invested in this and will have some strong ideas about important leadership qualities.
Business and government leaders will want someone they can work hand-in-hand with to make Anderson a better place.
And the Black community will provide an important perspective that has been undervalued all too often. With only one minority trustee on the seven-person board, checking in with the Black community becomes all the more important.
Also, don’t forget to ask building administrators, teachers and other staff members for their thoughts. No one knows better than they do how important a superintendent is.
After engaging these various stakeholders in the process, post the job and put together a committee to review applications, narrowing it to a handful of top applicants for the board to interview.
Such a process will ensure that various perspectives have been considered and that the best candidates are interviewed. It will help ensure that ACS lands the leader this community needs.
When you, the board of trustees, gets together at 6 p.m. Tuesday to conduct a hearing about the superintendent’s position, step back a few paces and start the process over again.
Don’t misunderstand: Interim Superintendent Joe Cronk seems to be widely respected and has valuable institutional knowledge after a long career at ACS. Currently overseeing the district’s transportation and food services, Cronk has a background in information technology.
But his lack of classroom experience gives pause, as pointed out by a group protesting ACS’s lack of transparency and inclusiveness in the hiring process.
Board President Pat Hill correctly notes that the law doesn’t require the position to be posted if an internal candidate is promoted. But it sure looks bad, like the school system is taking the easy out instead of searching for the best answer.
Nothing is more important to the future of Anderson than the quality of our schools. The superintendent, more than anyone else, influences that quality.
Please get this right, school board.