During a contentious Rockville Centre Board of Education meeting last Thursday, residents were informed about the timeline of the search for a new superintendent headed up by School Leadership LLC representatives. The board adopted the specifications recommended by School Leadership based on community feedback from forums, focus groups and questionnaires.
Dr. Kathy Weiss and Dr. Frank Chiachiere returned to the South Side High School auditorium after leading forums there on Nov. 1 and 8, outlining the roadmap for June Chang’s successor. In early January, School Leadership will begin advertising the position based on the qualities accepted by the board. In late January, the firm will begin screening applicants. Around mid-March, the process should begin the review phase as the field is narrowed to between five and eight semi-finalists. During either late March or early April, the final two to four candidates will be interviewed, before a decision is estimated to be made in May.
Desired qualities listed by Weiss’s PowerPoint included: being an advocate for the community and standing firm by decisions, engaging with all members of the school community, being a highly visible education visionary, an eloquent communicator and a transparent and responsible leader among others.
Though School Leadership will provide recommendations, the board will make the final decision.
Weiss said that all stakeholders in the district were involved in the research to decide the desired characteristics in a superintendent, including community members with no children in the schools and high school and middle school students.
After Weiss was finished with her presentation, one parent read a letter she wrote advocating for a superintendent who would encourage dialogue on topics such as diversity with the RVC Diversity and Inclusion Council. Though she also outlined her worries on the direction she perceived the district to be heading in.
“While we agree on a great deal, we also want to clarify some difference of opinion in the actions that our new superintendent and schools should take,” the letter read. “We would like to remind the board that any curriculum item must be age appropriate, factual, free of political agenda and bias, and must not be rooted in theories underlying critical race theory.”
The letter also asked that the superintendent and board continue anti-bias training for school faculty.
Another parent argued that “if the goal of the board is to eliminate discrimination against all within the school community, then it must acknowledge that many of the so-called anti-bias training courses would be ineffective and actually promote discrimination.”