Degree limit widened in Superintendent search
Jeff SchmuckerBROOKSVILLE - Have a master's degree? Then you, too, can be the next school district superintendent.
Published: November 21, 2012
Published: November 21, 2012
The absence of school board member John Sweeney and addition of recently elected Gus Guadagnino resulted in an upheaval during Tuesday's meeting on whether to limit the applicants for the next superintendent to those with advanced education degrees.
In October, the board agreed during a workshop to only accept applications from those with a minimum of a master's degree in education.
While newly elected board Chairman Matt Foreman initially found himself the sole dissenter to set the education degree limitation during that time, the board Tuesday couldn't bypass a split vote on the issue.
The stalemate occurred due to Guadagnino backing Foreman's stance that applicants shouldn't be limited to only those with a minimum of a master's degree in education.
Due to that shift, and the unwillingness of board members Dianne Bonfield and Cynthia Moore to likewise budge on their stance, the original draft job description goes into effect — the one that opens the possibility for applicants to have business degrees or backgrounds in "similar" fields.
And, board members learned later in the discussion, that means the district will have to re-advertise for the position for another 30 days, with the deadline estimated to be in late December.
Throughout the discussions, Guadagnino asserted that the board was limiting its applicant field by not opening the superintendent search to those with alternate backgrounds in other fields, such as business.
However, Bonfield responded that the leader of the district should primarily have experience in education.
Because a majority of the board previously supported the more restrictive job description — and gave the thumbs up for staff to use it for advertising for the position, she indicated that Guadagnino was impeding the board's progress.
"The wheels were already in motion and no one knows where that leaves us here," Bonfield said. "I ask you, is this for the good of the order?"
Although Moore offered for the group to table the matter until December when Sweeney could be present to break the vote, doing so would have resulted in further delays in getting more applications for the position.
Foreman attempted to again amend the advertisement that — while continuing to open the application field to all those with master's degrees — also required five years administrative experience and demonstrated excellence in leadership.
However, Moore and Bonfield weren't having any of it and the result was another 2-2 split vote.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Bryan Blavatt told the group that despite the added month of advertising for the position, doing so doesn't mean their current schedule for choosing the top candidates will be adversely affected.
When in doubt, he reminded the board that he is willing to stay in his position beyond the end of his contract in June if need be.
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