NCHS Teachers List Qualities Important In Possible Future Superintendent
By Alex Haglund
The Nashville Community High School Board held a relatively short open session for their regular December meeting, held on the evening of Monday, December 28, which was then followed by a close-to-three-hours-long closed session.
After the closed session, the board heard results of faculty input on the search for a new superintendent and approved the hiring of a new school nurse.
The board voted to hire Melissa Harriss as the district’s new nurse.
For the superintendent search, Search Committee Consultant Kevin Rench was present at the meeting and joined the board in closed session.
The information presented to the board regarding the superintendent search came from a request for teacher input at the faculty BEST meeting held on December 7.
Interim Superintendent Thomas Hawkins said that he would first present the material to the board, then to the faculty, then to media and public. Following the meeting, Hawkins sent The Nashville News a summary of the teacher responses.
For the primary personal attributes a superintendent should possess, the teachers listed Integrity, Communication and Responsibility (they were asked to list in order of importance).
For professional skills, the priorities were for Leadership in Educational Initiatives, Legal Requirements, and Financial Matters; Advocacy for District and Community, and Proactive Leadership.
All of those polled stated that a candidate having prior superintendent experience was important, but various groups asked differed on whether a lack of that experience should disqualify a candidate. Groups that believed an inexperienced candidate who had the “makings” of a superintendent could be mentored to grow into the role, perhaps by former superintendents.
For the importance of a candidate living in the district, “One discussion group preferred that the new superintendent live in the district and the three other groups did not think it was necessary. No group thought that district residency should exclude an outstanding candidate from being hired. All groups, however, were adamant that the person must be vested in the district and the community and must have an ongoing, visible presence at school and community events.”
Finally, those polled added that their preferred superintendent candidate “needs to understand the importance of Vocational Education and the Arts and be willing to seek ways to improve upon and to better involve students in these programs. Not all students are bound for 4 year colleges, but rather most students will be pursuing careers within the workplace.”
Another note added by those polled was that they would like to met with or interview possible candidates, with the summary stating, “The expressed consensus was that a diverse group of employees consisting of teacher representatives, office staff, and non-certified staff be afforded the opportunity to meet with viable candidates and to provide input prior to Board hiring.”
Finances, Levy And Loan
District Bookkeeper Stephanie Bauza was not present at the meeting – in her place, Hawkings gave the treasurer’s report.
“We have a bond payment coming in in January,” Hawkins said, “We basically are doing fine in our fund balances. We just need to make a little tranfer to cover that bond payment – we’ll pay it back when the tax money comes in.”
The January bond payment is for $268,000, and the fund balance in the Bond and Interest fund to cover it is only $254,000. During the meeting, the board approved a motion to make an interfund loan of $14,000 from the Working Cash fund in order to cover the shortfall.
The levy, which did not have a large enough rate increase to require a hearing, was filed with the county clerks of Washington, Perry and Jefferson Counties.
“So the levy is taken care of,” Hawkins told the board.
The Regional Office of Education for the area, ROE 13, did a site inspection at NCHS. They did have a few notes for the district, and that will mean some small projects are coming up.
“Nothing big,” Hawkins told the board. “I will give you all of that in January.
Hawkins told the board that flexibility on the part of Tammy Roskowski and the rest of the faculty and staff regarding modifications to assignments had meant that Roskowski now had more hours and work to fill them.