Superintendent Search Process

Each Board of Education has different needs and approaches to conducting its business. The Association of Alaska School Boards Superintendent Search Service understands this and will work to ensure that the superintendent search is directed by the Board and is tailored to its needs and desires.

The entire search process emphasizes that the search will be objective, fair, and confidential and will reflect the criteria determined by the full board, and not that of the search consultant.

AASB has a proven search process and extensive sources for advertising vacancies. This includes nation-wide exposure through the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS), the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and other colleagues and opportunities.

For more information, contact Lon Garrison at ( or Timi Tullis (  or call (907) 463-1660.

The superintendent search process includes these steps:

1. Outline the Process

AASB will assist the Board in developing a tailored approach to the search that will cover all necessary components including:

  • Selection criteria
  • Finalist Screening
  • Vacancy notice distribution
  • Interview structure and facilitation
  • Application packaging
  • Contract terms•Candidate recruitment
  • New superintendent news release
  • Candidate background verification

2. Identify Selection Criteria

The AASB consultant will assist the Board in developing the criteria for selecting the new superintendent by determining whether:

  • the search will be nationwide or limited to Alaska
  • Alaska experience or special strengths are required
  • in-district candidates are given preference
  • issues within the district require special consideration

3. The Recruitment Process

Once the selection criteria have been identified, AASB will work with the board to develop a vacancy announcement that will describe the position, school district and community, and professional background and attribute criteria desired. This information will be published as an electronic brochure on the AASB website and shared widely.

4. Applicant Files

AASB now uses an entirely online application and candidate review program developed and supported by our colleagues at the Ohio School Boards Association. Interested candidates can apply by going to

5. Candidate Background Verification

AASB requires all applicants to go through a background check that consists of a national criminal background check, a sex offender list review and a SSN trace for each applicant. An education, employer and professional license verification is also conducted. Through AASBs extensive professional network, confidential reference verification of all candidates is completed. AASB solicits valuable information from other state associations and school boards that can then help Alaska boards gain insights into each candidate.

6. Screening to Identify Finalists

During the formal applicant screening process the search consultant will meet with the board; provide a brief overview for each applicant including any background information secured. In addition, the search consultant will facilitate the board’s screening of applicant file according to the established criteria. This process could include brief audio conferences with individual candidates as necessary.

The board, at its discretion, will determine the best-qualified candidates for further consideration. AASB will notify all applicants not selected as finalists.

7. Selection of Finalists & Logistics

Following review of applicant files, background verification and executive session consensus; the board will select the finalists they wish to interview. During this time, the board will also develop a schedule for the finalist’s on-site visit and formal interview. Common questions to be asked candidates during the formal interview will also be developed at this time.

AASB will accept responsibility for contacting finalists, preparing a press release announcing the finalists and the process for the on-site visit by the candidates, and make all finalist travel arrangements for formal interview.

8. The Interview Process

The AASB search consultant will be on-site during the interview and selection process. AASB will assume responsibility for providing the board with the tools necessary to successfully interview the candidates and present the candidates to the staff and community. The search consultant is available to facilitate the processes necessary to present the district and community to the candidates as well as afford the opportunity for staff and community to “experience” the finalists.

Once a candidate is selected and accepts, the search consultant will facilitate the contract parameters to be signed by the candidate and board. These parameters will form the basis for a formal contract to be developed by the district’s legal counsel. The search consultant will also assist the Board with preparing a press release of the superintendent appointment.

9. Timelines

An adequate timeline is critical to the success of the search. The suggested timeline shown below is offered as a guideline should time and circumstances allow.



Meet with the board to develop criteria

Week 1

Design and post an electronic brochure

Week 1

Soliciting candidate interest

Week 2-10

Conduct background investigations

Week 11

Notify finalists and arrange interviews

Week 13

Conduct interviews, final section, contract

Week 14

Follow-up workshop

TBD — Fall

10. Follow-up Workshop

Following the appointment and arrival of the new superintendent, the AASB consultant will conduct a workshop in the district to help the board and superintendent “check-base” on the evolving relationship, clarify responsibilities and develop any necessary understandings to ensure a long-term partnership. This workshop helps the new board-superintendent team establish effective communication and mutual understanding.