Applications are still being taken for the Avon Local Schools superintendent job.
Tuesday night, school board members got an update on the search from Finding Leaders owner Paul Pendleton. Finding Leaders is the firm hired by the Board of Education to help find a replacement for superintendent Jim Reitenbach, who is resigning at the end of the school year.
Pendleton shared the results of six focus groups he led. Two were for residents, the rest were for board members and school staff.
"What we were looking for were the golden threads woven through all the groups," he said.
Some of the highlights:
- A superintendent must be visible and accessible, and must be visible at more than sports events. "I heard that strongly," Pendleton said.
- Understanding education trends is important.
- A superintendent should have a vision for the district.
- Experience in dealing with budgets and communications at a district level is important.
Pendleton said a question was suggested that he intends to use in future searches as well: "What was your most unpopular decision to date, why was it right and how did you survive it?"
Superintendents who have already retired, sometimes called "retired-and-rehired" or "double-dippers," are not being considered, Pendleton said.
Avon Middle School principal Dr. Craig Koehler was brought up by resident Dan Busher.
"He has so much experience in the district and a great personality," Busher said, adding he was disappointed that Dr. Koehler was not a candidate for the superintendent job.
Dr. Koehler said Wednesday that he has decided not to apply for the job after he was told of a qualification that candidates have administrative experience at a district level.
"I respect the decision (on the qualification)," Dr. Koehler said. "It was one of those tough decisions the board has to make. I'm friends with them. But I know they'll act in the best interests of the district and the students."
District-level experience was something stressed in all the focus groups, Pendleton said.
Dr. Koehler added that he's happy where he is.
"I love my job at the middle school," he said.
Applications for the superintendent job are being accepted through March 16.