Community weighs in on superintendent search

The search for a new superintendent for the Fayette County School System is underway. A recently completed community survey had the community giving its perspective on issues such as academic and business experience and leadership capability.

A sampling of survey results showed that nearly 53 percent of respondents thought having a doctorate was important but not mandatory. Approximately 34 percent thought it was mandatory while 13 percent did not consider the degree very important.

Asked about prior experience as a superintendent, 43.8 percent said it was mandatory, 47.4 percent said it would be important but not mandatory and 8.8 did not consider prior experience to be very important.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents thought prior experience as a principal was mandatory. That compares to nearly 34 percent saying prior experience as a principal is important but not mandatory and nearly 8 percent saying it is not very important.

As for the belief that the new superintendent should have prior experience as a classroom teacher, 65 percent thought prior experience as a classroom teacher was mandatory, 27.2 percent said it was important but not mandatory and 7.9 percent did not consider that experience to be very important.

Another survey question dealt with business experience. Approximately 15 percent of respondents said previous experience in private business was mandatory while 54 percent said it was important but not mandatory and approximately 31 percent did not consider it very important.

But as it relates to special expertise, nearly 91 percent of respondents said that expertise should be present in budgets, while 79 percent said the new superintendent should have special expertise in administration. Those figures were followed by the need for special expertise in personnel, at 58 percent, and curriculum, at 56 percent.

And when it comes to a documented history of leadership, approximately 70 percent said that leadership should be in community organizations and other community affairs, 54.8 percent said that leadership should be in professional organizations and 31.6 percent said through public speaking.

Approximately 1,150 people respondents participated in the survey. Of those responding, 56.4 percent were parents or guardians of a student in Fayette schools, 14.3 percent were non-parent community members and 29.2 percent were school system employees.

To view the survey results visit the school system website at www.fcboe.org

Pertaining to the search for the new superintendent, applications for the position will be accepted through Jan. 31.