Herrmann, who sat on the school board the last time it hired a superintendent search firm, in the 2003-04 school year, said that working with such a firm was a mistake then, and he doesn’t feel that it’s necessary now. The board ultimately hired Dr. Philip Cicero, who was replaced in 2008 by Barbarino.
School Leadership was established eight years ago and has conducted 65 superintendent searches, Fowler said. An internal candidate was hired three times.
“If I’m an outsider or if I’m in your shoes,” Herrmann said, “and you hire a search firm, to me the message is: We don’t believe we have an internal candidate.” But he reiterated that Lynbrook has a strong candidate in Burak.
“The Lynbrook School District needs a leader with vision and the ability to inspire,” said resident Joan Schaeffer. “Dr. Burak would be an outstanding role model for the Lynbrook students.”
Fowler and his colleagues met with several community leaders last week to get their perspectives on the search. They included village officials, members of the Chamber of Commerce, teachers and students.
Chamber President Bill Gaylor commended the school board for doing everything in its power to find the right candidate, but added that Burak would be the right choice for the position. “The person that’s currently sitting in that position is the one that the Chamber of Commerce would like to see get the job,” Gaylor said.
Village Trustee Hilary Becker, who met with the search firm on behalf of the village, said that Burak’s understanding of the community is a big plus. “The Lynbrook School District is really a huge asset for the community,” Becker said, “and obviously, moving forward, we want to safeguard and preserve that school district and make sure the best things happen for our children.”
School Leadership will present its findings to the board in the coming weeks.
“Hiring a superintendent is one of the most, if not the most, important functions of a Board of Education, and so we take it very seriously,” said board President Cathy Papandrew. “We’re looking to find the best candidate for the position, and that’s why we decided to do a search.”