Superintendent Search FAQ

Who conducts superintendent searches?

Each search is facilitated by a member of the Association staff. Norm Wooten and Timi Tullis are the primary search consultants.

How will AASB know what the board and district need in a superintendent?

The AASB search consultant will meet with the board to identify the district priorities and specific selection criteria. The Board will use this information throughout the search to identify the most suitable candidates for the position.

How can the board include the community in identifying needs and priorities?

Districts have utilized a variety of approaches to involve community and staff in the search process. These approaches include using the district’s website for interested individual to provide input into the qualifications and personal attributes for the new superintendent; having parent organizations and staff respond to a formal questionnaire regarding what is desired in a new superintendent; identifying a committee representing a cross-section of interested parties to meet with the search consultant; and a host of other less formal approaches.

Can the community be involved in the selection of candidates?

Most boards have finalists meet with the community in an open forum when the finalists are on-site. These sessions, moderated by the AASB search consultant, are structured to invite questions from the audience. In districts where multiple communities are involved, video conferencing has been utilized effectively to involve all interested constituents.

Who will review the candidate applications?

The Association has a formal application that all candidates must complete to be considered for the position. In most cases, the completed application is accompanied by the candidate’s professional portfolio and a minimum of three confidential references provided on AASB forms. Each candidate’s total application file will be reviewed by the Board of Education when determining candidates to be interview.

How many candidates does the board interview?

Most Boards select three or four candidates to interview in the district. Travel and accommodations are almost always paid by the district.

What questions should the board ask of candidates?

The AASB consultant will guide the interviews and assist the board in the development of questions that pertain to the selection criteria.

How long will the search take?

A thorough search can take as long as three months from the initial workshop that identifies board priorities and candidate criteria through the selection of the new superintendent. Searches that occur in the late spring are usually expedited to better ensure a candidate pool and provide sufficient time for the successful candidate to assume responsibility as the new superintendent by July 1.

How does the Association’s Superintendent Search Service differ from other consultants?

Association staff does not select superintendents or superintendent finalists. That is the sole responsibility of board. AASB helps ensure the search results in the best candidate for the district, not the best district for a particular candidate. AASB is committed to relieving the burdensome “tasks” associated with a search, so that board members can focus their energy on determining the best candidate to move the district forward for students.

How often will the search consultant be in the district?

For most searches, the search consultant will be in the district on four occasions:

  1. An initial meeting to familiarize the board with the search process, establish timelines and other search parameters and identify selection criteria.
  2. A second meeting to determine the candidates to be interviewed. This session also allows the board to prepare for the on-site candidate visit and the development of formal interview questions.
  3. A third meeting when the candidates are on-site for interviews and the new superintendent is selected and contract parameters determined.
  4. A final meeting is scheduled after the new superintendent is in the district. This workshop helps to clarify board and superintendent responsibilities and priorities to help ensure a positive beginning to the relationship.