School Board discusses superintendent position qualifications

By Aila Boyd

During its special meeting last Tuesday, the Botetourt County School Board discussed the results of the survey that it asked the public to take regarding the qualifications for the division’s superintendent position. Michelle Crook, chair of the Botetourt County School Board, reported that 375 survey responses were received.

Applications will be accepted through June 5.

Qualifications for the next superintendent established by the School Board include:

  • Experience as a superintendent or associate/assistant superintendent is preferred
  • Experience as a principal is required
  • Earned doctorate is preferred
  • Residency in the school division is required within one year

Additionally, the qualifications are broken down into the following categories:

Leadership and Management Skills – The successful candidate is a team player who is comfortable with shared decision-making, a decisive leader, a visionary and creative thinker, and with strong communication skills.

Personal Characteristics – The successful candidate is a good listener, accessible, caring, and confident.

Board-Superintendent Relations – The successful candidate effectively willingly assumes a lead role in decision-making while keeping the Board informed, effectively mediates and accommodates different perspectives, and leads the Board in goal setting and planning for the Division. The successful candidate is transparent in all interactions with the Board.

Staff Relations – The successful candidate creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, has a process for recruiting and selecting top quality staff members, and maintains open channels of communication to and from staff.

Community Relations – The successful candidate effectively advocates school issues and needs, relates to a variety of community groups, and communicates effectively on both private and public levels.

School Finance – The successful candidate cooperates and collaborates for school funding on behalf of the school division, develops and explains the rationale for the budget – including areas for both funding management and finding efficiency improvements in operations – to the Board and local officials, and closely supervises budget and development procedures.

Student Achievement – The successful candidate has expertise in curriculum and instruction and thereby advocates for students in academics, career and technical education, and extracurricular activities. The successful candidate has a strong record of student achievement.

Areas of Expertise – The successful candidate is an instructional leader, has proven experience in school reform such as strategic and capital planning, and has demonstrated experience in development and management of a school division’s budget and finance.

The qualifications will be communicated to the Virginia School Board Association for the online application process.

The listing notes that the salary for the position will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

The position of superintendent was vacated when Dr. Lisa Chen, who assumed the position on July 1, 2019, submitted her resignation last month. Although her resignation is effective June 30, Dr. Larry Massie was named interim superintendent on April 23. He assumed the position on April 27. He will remain in the position until a new superintendent has been appointed to lead the school division.

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