School district wants your input

Loomis Union spending $17,500 to get community's input during superintendent search
By: Joyia Emard/Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Loomis Union School District wants to know would like to know what you think. The district is reaching out to parents, staff and community members via an online survey on the district’s website to discover what stakeholders want in a new superintendent. The Loomis district board voted to use a search firm to conduct a nationwide search to fill the superintendent position that will be vacated by Paul Johnson on June 30. Johnson has accepted the superintendent position for the Mill Valley School District in Marin County and will begin there July 1. According to the Mill Valley district, Johnson will receive a salary of $195,000 per year, plus medical benefits. His current salary is 134,936, which includes eight furlough days. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the search firm, was hired by the school board to survey the community, parents, teachers, administrators and classified staff in order to create a profile of the desired characteristics of the new superintendent. According to Jay Stewart, Loomis district assistant superintendent, the school board negotiated the search firm’s fee down to $17,500 plus expenses. No commission will be paid. Jim Foster, school board president, said it was important to utilize a search firm in order to get the best candidate pool. “Our district has changed a lot in the last 6 years. Our new leader must have a wide range of talents to meet the diverse needs or our district,” Foster said. School board trustee Mike Edwards said the search firm has a statewide and national presence and a proven track record. “Our district has the top API (Academic Performance Index) based on demographics in the surrounding 24-county area. We want to continue to improve as a district and need a top superintendent,” Edwards said. Gail Uilkema, a retired superintendent from the San Francisco Bay Area, is a consultant with the search firm. She said she and another consultant will conduct online surveys and meet with approximately 30 people representing the various stakeholders. A profile identifying the needs of the district and the necessary candidate attributes will then be created. “The report for the leadership profile will include the district’s strengths and future challenges,” she said. Uilkema and another consultant will review, summarize and compile a report on the results, which will be presented to the school board. She said her firm will advertise the position, recruit individuals, collect resumes, screen applicants and present a slate of three to 10 candidates for interviews. According to Uilkema, the two consultants will hold a workshop to train board members on how to interview, then will help them process the interview information to determine the top three candidates. Those candidates will be interviewed a second time. She said once the top candidate is chosen by the board, her company has an independent group conduct screening and background checks. She said the final step is to hold a site visit of the final candidate’s school. Uilkema said a superintendent search by her company usually takes three months from start to finish. She said the Loomis search began on April 4 and interviews will begin in early June. Placer Elementary School parent Cora Mack said, “I’m happy with our school, but money will be a huge challenges for the new superintendent. I’d like to see more academic improvement.” Stewart said if a replacement is not able to start by July 1, the school board will need to determine whether or not to appoint an interim superintendent. --------------------- SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH Who: Community, parents, faculty, administrators and support staff What: Online survey for new Loomis Union School District superintendent Why: To create candidate profile and solicit recommendations Where: Deadline: Friday, April 22 More information: 652-1800