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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

TASB says 11 eying superintendent’s post

Staff Writer

Community members, students and faculty are all being asked by Texas Association of School Board officials to help in the search for a new superintendent for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.

But while a TASB representative in town on Monday said the group would present results of the survey within the next week and already have nearly a dozen candidates, they don’t plan to release the names of any applicants for the superintendent’s job until a final candidate is presented to the school board.

TASB officials met with several groups Monday, to gain input and insight into what the community seeks in a new superintendent, which the P-B-T ISD board hopes to select sometime in June.

“We want to talk to as many people as possible about what you feel is important in your superintendent,” said TASB employee Don Killough, during a special school board meeting held Monday evening.

He told the group that TASB staff had met earlier with faculty and administrators and planned to meet with community members and students.

TASB was asked by the school board to handle the superintendent search, and the group has already received 11 applications for the position that became open recently when current superintendent Don Love opted to retire at the end of this school year.

“Everyone is being asked to fill out this survey with four questions on it,” said Killough. “It’s a leadership profile assessment and this will assist us in developing a profile of the leadership qualities to be sought in the new superintendent,” he said.

The four questions asked include:

1 -- What do you consider to be the two or three most significant strengths of the district?

2 - What do you consider to be the two or three most important issues or concerns facing the district?

3 -- What professional characteristics should the board look for in the next superintendent?

4 -- What personal characteristics should the board look for in the next superintendent? “They can fill out the survey and hand it to us, they can fax it or e-mail it to us,” said Killough. All the comments and suggestions would be taken into account and then put into a report.

“We’ll bring that report back to you, so that you all know what everyone wants to see in their new superintendent,” he said.

Board members will meet again next Monday, April 26, and receive a copy of the report from TASB officials at that time.

Killough said that after applications close they will bring back all the applications to the board to look at and review, but will also have a “short” list.

However, he added that TASB doesn’t plan to release any of the names of the potential candidates while the search process is underway.

“I think five is plenty for you to look at,” said Killough. “We’ll wait until we narrow it down to one before we release a name.”

Killough asked school board members what they considered to be the most significant issue facing the district.

“Finances seems to be the biggest concern, whether it be an increase or decrease,” said board president Billie Sadler. “Finance is the major issue that most school district are facing today.”

Board member Amy Miller said that teacher morale and unit among employees was a big issue. “There seems to be a dividing line between the administration and the teachers,” said Miller. “There is a real problem at the high school campus, also.”

She said that a lot of the students were going on to state universities without being fully prepared. “We need to raise the bar academically,” Miller added.

Board member Paul Deishler cited teacher shortage and salaries as a big concern. “We need to compete for these teachers and get the best ones we can,” he said.

“Some of the teachers did mention salaries as a concern this morning, they were happy that you’re paying for their insurance, but wish the salaries were a little bit more,” said Killough.

“We’re having a lot of teachers retiring and finding it hard to replace them,” said board member Crissy Martinez.

Academics were another concern Martinez mentioned. “Continuity throughout in academics, beginning in kindergarten all the way through to high school, it should stay at a high level,” she said.

Board member Steve Valenzuela said the main concern should be focusing on the students themselves. “We should focus on academics and the students, when they receive a diploma we’re really proud of them, but we need to do everything to make them successful,” he said.

Killough asked the group what professional and personal characteristics they wanted to look for in the next superintendent.

“Here is where we need to build our profile,” said Killough.

“What do you find more important, academics, experience or personality,” he said. “I think the continuity of their success, it’s what makes a good superintendent,” said Martinez.

“What are the minimum requirements, by the state or local?” asked Valenzuela. Killough said that all applicants must have a minimum of three years teaching experience, above a Master’s, had to have had an administrative internship, such as a principal’s position or office experience, and pass the superintendent’s exam. “They have to be certified,” said Killough.

“I think they have to know how to manage the money, some people are really good at that,” said Sadler. “I think we also want someone who is healthy, vibrant, a real go-getter,” she said.

“Controlling of the staff and not being afraid to make recommendations to the board,” said Martinez. “Someone that can pull the staff together, but make decisions when necessary,” she said.

“I’d like to see someone with a proven record, someone who really wants to achieve a balance,” said Miller. “Someone who can exercise discretion, but with real stewardship,” she said.

“What type of experience is important to you?” asked Killough.

“It would make it easier for us if they’ve already been a superintendent,” said Sadler.

“Probably most of the applicants will be superintendents or assistants or principals from a large high school, it just depends on who you’re competing with,” said Killough. He said the TASB also has their own network that they use.

Killough said that they check references, do credit checks, among other things. “We research them thoroughly,” he said.


High Monday 87. Low this morning 55. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 90s. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Lows 55 to 60. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 90s. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Friday night: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s.

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