Sensitivity. Decisiveness. Self-confidence. Commitment.
These are among the qualities Steamboat Springs parents, civic leaders, teachers and school district officials and staff desire in Superintendent Cyndy Simms' replacement, according to survey results released by Ray and Associates.
Ray and Associates, the national search firm hired by the Steamboat Springs School District to find a new superintendent, administered the survey to focus group participants two weeks ago during the National Schools Public Relations Association communications audit.
The survey, which sought to identify the top 10 desired characteristics of the future superintendent, was part of an effort to involve community stakeholders in the search process, while helping to define the type of candidate desired by the district.
Ray and Associates sent the tabulated survey results to the district last week. Of the 31 traits offered as options on the survey, the 10 most commonly identified as being highly important to focus group participants were recommended for inclusion in a brochure that will be mailed to superintendent applicants.
The traits, in order of importance as determined by survey results, are:
n Sensitive and decisive with strong interpersonal and communication skills.
n Inspires trust, has high levels of self-confidence and optimism and models high standards of integrity and personal performance.
n The ability to develop and direct an effective administrative team with a commitment to the professional growth and development of team members.
n The ability to delegate authority appropriately while maintaining accountability.
n Successful experience in sound management practices, including appropriate participation of others in planning and decision-making.
n Successful experience in the selection and implementation of educational priorities consistent with the interest and needs of students, staff, School Board and community.
n The ability to develop and communicate a vision of quality education for the future of the School Board, staff and community.
n Experience in the management of district resources and knowledge of sound fiscal procedures.
n A strong academic background with awareness of innovations and contemporary movements in education.
n The ability to work cooperatively with the School Board.
The three traits survey respondents indicated as the least important were: a demonstrated ability to work with the media, experience in strategic planning and possession of a Ph.D. or doctorate of education.
Ray and Associates, which is building a candidate base for the position, will not accept applications postmarked after May 29. The search firm will present a list of semifinalists to the School Board on June 12, according to a superintendent search timeline established by the board and Ray and Associates.
Finalist interviews are scheduled for the week of June 16, followed by on-site visits by School Board members to finalists' home areas.
Simms announced her resignation at the beginning of April after she accepted a superintendent post in Mercer Island, Wash.
According to the candidate brochure, the incoming superintendent will be paid "in the range of $125,000, in addition to an excellent benefits program." Simms earns about $115,000.
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