Pettus involves community in superintendent search
by Bill Clough
Apr 13, 2014 | 271 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PETTUS – Those who campaigned here for more community involvement from the Pettus Independent School District are going to get their chance in mid-April.

Rather than do its own searching, the PISD board on March 24 voted unanimously to hire—for $8,000—the Executive Search Services of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) to conduct the search for a permanent superintendent.

Pam Seipp is serving as interim superintendent.

TASB, based in Austin, has assisted more than 500 school districts statewide to find new leaders.

Part of that search will include six meetings with various parts of the Pettus community in mid-April.

“We thought the more heads we get on the search the better choice we can make,” says Board President Joe Constante.

The TASB lead consultant, Marian Strauss, is planning the search, developing a leadership profile and will conduct the interviews, first paring candidates down to six, and then to three.

The board then will decide which of the three to hire.

From the community meetings, the TASB team hopes to gain insight into what qualities are expected from the new superintendent.

The sessions are a standard practice in the TASB search process, but they particularly resonate in Pettus, where repeated pleas for more community involvement were voiced during and after the board forced its previous superintendent, Brian Thompson, to resign, without explanation.

The decision became contentious because trustee discussions were in executive session, therefore confidential.

Public meetings


The meetings are April 15.

•2:30 p.m. — high school students at the high school library.

•3 p.m. — district support staff in the cafeteria.

•3:45 p.m. — elementary and secondary teachers/professional staff in the cafeteria.

•5:30 p.m. — administrators and supervisors in the board room.

•6:30 p.m. — Community session in the cafeteria and board trustees in the board room.

All sessions are public.

TASB uses the qualifications and characteristics gleaned from the meetings to help develop the PISD requirements for a superintendent.

“We don’t just gather the information,” Strauss explains, “we make it part of the application process. Each candidate will then be expected to address how their experience matches those statements and concerns made in the meetings.”

For those unable to attend the meetings, TASB will post a survey on the PISD website. The replies are kept confidential because, Strauss says, the answers are transmitted directly to TASB.

TASB says it usually takes four months to complete a search. Deadline for applications is May 19; the board hopes to name the new superintendent June 11 and to vote on the new superintendent July 9.

STISD search

At the Skidmore-Tynan Independent School District, trustees are sorting through what Board President James Bennett calls a “handful” of applications for a new superintendent.

Application deadline for S-TISD superintendent is May 2.

At its regular meeting April 7, the board hired Hank Looney from Pawnee as high school principal and math teacher Dana Scott as junior high school principal.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at
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