SCHENECTADY — The City School District is accepting applications for its open superintendent job, hoping to have a new leader in place by January.
The job has been posted, along with a brochure developed to describe the district and the kind of leader it is seeking. The district has set an Aug. 15 deadline for prospective candidates to apply.
The board’s superintendent search timeline envisions conducting interviews in the fall and potentially narrowing down the field and selecting a superintendent by November with a start date after Jan. 1.
“The next superintendent of the Schenectady city schools must focus on nurturing the whole child and listening to student voices so that student graduates have a sense of pride and belonging,” according to the job brochure.
Anita Murphy, the Capital Region BOCES district superintendent leading Schenectady’s search, in a presentation to the board at its Wednesday meeting, said focus groups and a community survey made clear the broader school district community is seeking a leader with an ability to connect and communicate with parents, someone with leadership experience in an urban district and someone who leads with integrity and honesty.
“I think every system wants a leader with high moral integrity,” Murphy said as she presented the community feedback to the board. “I think Schenectady can certainly get a leader with high moral integrity.”
Murphy said the school board is utilizing a “hybrid open search” structure. A group of stakeholders – teachers, parents, community partners, students and others – will have a chance to interview candidates and report their impressions to the school board. Participants in that interview will be asked to sign confidentiality agreements and final candidates for the job won’t be publicized.
Murphy said the district’s approach aims to maximize the diversity and experience of the candidate pool, noting that a more public process that included the release of finalist names or public forums – as the district held the last time it searched for a new superintendent – could limit the candidate pool, especially among diverse candidates.
“The board made a very smart decision to get the maximum candidate pool they could but involve stakeholders,” Murphy said during Wednesday’s meeting, noting that she has already started to field calls from potential candidates.