School Board reviews survey results

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Troy City Board of Education met in work session Wednesday afternoon with Kendy Behrends, contract employee with the Alabama Association of School Boards, to discuss the search process for a superintendent for Troy City Schools to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Dr. Linda Felton-Smith.

Behrends said the search process is tailor made for the Troy City School System and presented the results from the online survey conducted to determine the qualifications that the school board and the community have for the new superintendent.

Four Troy City School Board members and 324 members of the community participated in the Superintendent Finder Survey between March 2 and April 10.

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“The number of community participants is good but it shows that there is no huge controversy going on in your school system,” Behrends said. “If there were, the numbers would be much greater. The number of participants shows that you have a stable place.”

Behrends discussed the results of the Superintendent Finder Survey of the school board and the community.

The board ranked the implementation of ways to improve student discipline, innovative reform efforts and increased student achievement has high priorities for the one who is selected to lead the school system.

The ability to view all aspects of an issue also got high marks, as did the ability to manage a budget. However, belief that all children can learn was at the top of the survey ranking.

The school board survey revealed that a master’s degree should be required of the superintendent but a doctorate was not that important.

Having been a classroom teacher was an experience requirement for a superintendent but experience as a principal didn’t receive a high ranking.

Hiring a superintendent who lives in Troy was not a requirement that the board felt strongly about. However, the board did rank communication skills, leadership, and accountability as traits they felt were most important in a superintendent. The board survey also indicated that the new superintendent must be a visionary with a new vision for the Troy City Schools.

The board survey was split as to whether the school system is headed in the right direction.

The community survey results didn’t deviate greatly from the results of the Troy City Board survey.

The community responders ranked increased student achievement as a priority when selecting a new superintendent. The ability to view issues fairly, improved school discipline and community involvement also receive high rankings along with the ability to manage a budget.

To be successful as a superintendent, the community ranked increased student achievement and strong leadership abilities as a high priority.

The community equated experience as a classroom teacher and school principal as the most important experience factor for a superintendent and also ranked experience as a superintendent high. Accountability and the ability to communicate were also ranked high in the survey.

A master’s degree should be an education requirement for a superintendent but a doctorate was not ranked as important. Living outside of Troy was not a concern according the community survey.

The public survey indicated that the Troy City Schools are headed in the right direction but that a superintendent should have a new vision for the school system.

Behrends said the two surveys indicated that the school board and the community are in close agreement as to what should be required of a new superintendent of education. But she reminded the board members that she is not a decision maker.

“I am a facilitator,” she said. “This survey is tool for the board to use in the hiring process.”

Behrends will meet with two other contracted AASB employees today to screen the 11 application for the position of superintendent of Troy City Schools.

“We had hoped for 12 applicants and we had 12 but one of them has been hired,” she said. “According to the contract we will narrow the list to five solid candidates and the board will take it from there. The board will determine the number of candidates to be interviewed and the interview process.”

The interviews are to be conducted between May 9 and 20 with a superintendent on board July 1.