FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The search began in earnest Thursday for a new superintendent to lead Fort Wayne Community Schools after the next school year.
“I think very critical to this whole process is engaging the community. What are the qualities and characteristics of that next superintendent, and I think that’s going to be awfully, awfully important,” says FWCS Board Vice President Steve Corona.
As the Fort Wayne Community School Board’s search committee begins its pre-search process for the retiring Dr. Wendy Robinson’s replacement, they emphasized wanting people’s input.
Teachers, parents, and taxpayers attended the first meeting, which centered on puting out requests for proposals from superintendent search firms next month, as well as scheduling public input sessions at every high school and at various times.
“I think they have to have experience, they have to have a proven track record, they have to have knowledge of what the teachers and the administrators in the schools deal with on a day-to-day basis. And they have to show that they’re able to work with the different entities necessary to be successful at that job,” parent Ted Current tells us.
A teacher wants an educator who’s an advocate for students, and rallies the district’s 4,000 employees with a sense of unity.
“It becomes a frustration because there’s so many different pockets of words. The communication isn’t always consistent, and so hoping to have that consistency would be great,” Angela Fugate says.
The group briefly discussed a potential compensation package of about $300,000 including salary and benefits for the district’s new superintendent, which may sound like a lot.
In reality, Indiana pays near the bottom of all states for superintendents, so to attract top candidates for a long-term commitment, the board knows it will have to pay.
“We are hiring a Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest employers in Allen County. And as a public institution we will not pay what the private sector pays, but we’ll pay a decent salary. And it’s going to be comparable to what superintendents make in like-sized districts across the country,” Corona says.
The search committee hopes the community meetings can begin in October, with a search firm soliciting candidates in January.