By Kevin Kelley
Westlake City Schools Board of Education President Carol Winter said the district wants to select its next superintendent before outgoing leader Dan Keenan leaves July 31.
Keenan announced April 3 that he is leaving to become the executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, an educational nonprofit based in Cleveland.
At an April 17 meeting, the board hired the Ohio School Boards Association as a consultant in the search for Keenan’s successor. The district will pay OSBA $6,900 plus expenses. The Westlake schools pay an annual membership fee of $9,274 to belong to the OSBA. The board interviewed two other consulting firms – Finding Leaders, based in Independence, and Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, based in Illinois.
“If we don’t find the right individual to lead our district before Dr. Keenan’s July departure, an interim will be appointed,” board President Carol Winter said.
The OSBA led the search process that led to Keenan’s hiring in 2007. The organization also led the Fairview Park City Schools’ recent superintendent search, which resulted in the hiring of Geoffrey Andrews as Brion Deitsch’s replacement.
OSBA consultant Richard Caster and board members discussed the timeline for the the search process at Monday night’s board meeting.
Board members noted that the next superintendent will have to address several issues facing the district, including management of the budget, employee contracts, relationships with city government, application of the new Common Core State Standards and the possible implementation of Phase II of the district’s facilities plan.
As to what qualities the next superintendent should have, board members said they want a strong leader who can balance academic needs with fiscal responsibility. The next superintendent should also possess strong abilities in policy and governance, community relations, curriculum planning and organizational management, board members said.
Is the board looking at any internal candidates?
“We will consider all qualified candidates and choose based upon the qualifications from the candidate profile that will be developed with community and stakeholder input,” Winter told West Life.