Steamboat Springs The search for a new Steamboat Springs School District superintendent is beginning to heat up as the school year and Cyndy Simms' stint as head of the district wind down.
Bill Newman, executive director of Ray and Associates, the search firm hired by the school board to find Simms' replacement, surveyed focus group participants last week in Steamboat Springs. The focus groups were convened for the National School Public Relations Association communications audit.
Newman's survey asked respondents to identify the 10 most important characteristics of a superintendent. School Board members and participants from at least 13 of the focus groups responded to the survey, which Newman said the School Board will use to help identify the most desirable traits of superintendent applicants.
Newman will send the finalized survey report to the School Board today. Ray and Associates will solicit superintendent applications through May. The job is posted on Ray and Associates' Web site, and the opening will also appear in Education Week and possibly other education-related Web sites and publications, Newman said.
Once the application retrieval process is complete, comprehensive background checks of all applicants will begin, probably at the start of June. Following background checks, Ray and Associates will produce a semifinalist list of between nine and 12 candidates, Newman said.
Using an evaluation and scoring process to rate the semifinalists, the school board will pare the list to about four or five finalists. With finalists decided, the interview process will begin, Newman said.
According to the search process timeline agreed to by the school board, interviews will take place the week of June 16, Newman said.
The School Board hopes to have a replacement named by the time Simms leaves the district July 1, but Newman said there are no guarantees on when the new superintendent will be able to take over.
Simms resigned as superintendent in early April after she was offered the superintendent post for the Mercer Island, Wash., School District. The Steamboat School Board elected to hire a national search firm to find a replacement. The search will cost the district at least $14,000, not including travel and other expenses.