School Board Hires Search Firm To Find New Superintendent
At a special meeting of the Princeton Regional School Board, Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates. Ltd. was hired to help the district find a superintendent to replace Dr. Claire Sheff Kohn. Dr. Kohn recently resigned to take a superintendent position in the Masconomet School District in Massachusetts on August 1.
Three search firms were part of the final selection process, out of six total. School Board President Anne Burns said that the chosen search firm best fit the district's needs.
"They have a great combination of New Jersey experience, and the ability to help us look for someone nationally," said Ms. Burns. "It was clear they were able to provide the services we needed."
Two representatives from the firm that will be working with the district are Carol Conger and Mark Smith. Ms. Conger is a former superintendent for the Chathams School District, and Mr. Smith is a former superintendent for West Field School District.
The chosen search firm, which is based in Glenview, Ill., will be paid $18,500 for their work, along with an additional $4,500 for travel and advertising costs, said Ms. Burns. These costs do not include travel costs if the firm looks at a candidate who lives a great distance away.
"We're hopeful that we'll find just who we need close to home, but we're willing to do a national search," said Ms. Burns.
The Board was looking for a search firm that would research what residents are looking for in a new superintendent. It also wanted a firm that would do recruiting, rather than one that would provide many previously-selected candidates, Charlotte Bialek, Board vice president, said of the business at the meeting on May 18.
According to Ms. Bialek, the process of finding a superintendent is very difficult.
"It's much harder than it used to be ... the pool isn't as big," she said. "Few people are interested in rising to that level; you're really there on the front lines."
Ms. Bialek said that the district is looking for a superintendent who will serve as a "lightning rod," becoming a strong base of power for the district.
In related matters, the Board is expected to hold final interviews with two candidates for interim superintendent this week. Ms. Burns said that the Board is expected to hire one of these candidates.
The Board will hold its first meeting with Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates, Ltd., on Thursday.