The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 2, 2013

Three groups want to lead M-W superintendent search

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — Three executive search firms competing for the chance to recruit the next Midd-West School District superintendent made their pitches to the school board Monday night.

The Chester County Intermediate Unit, of Downingtown, Ray and Associates, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, of Mechanicsburg, all have similar approaches to the job, their representatives said.

The three groups specialize in educational recruiting in general and searching for school superintendents in particular.

The Chester County IU and PSBA stressed their local and regional strengths. Ray and Associates is considered a national recruiting powerhouse, with more than 160 associates throughout the country scouting for talent.

Representatives of the IU and Ray and Associates said their costs likely would total about $20,000 to conduct the search. The school boards association’s cost for two search programs would total $17,500 plus expenses.

In all three cases, the groups outlined a step-by-step process whereby the recruiting phases would narrow down the best candidates for the Midd-West superintendent’s job, recently vacated by Wesley Knapp.

“We’ll want to create, with your input, a profile of your perfect candidate and then seek to find that person, whether he or she is local or a national candidate,” said Mary Curley, an IU representative.

All of the candidates would be thoroughly investigated, Curley said. “We don’t want there to be anything left to scrutinize.”

Each team essentially made that same promise: no surprises.

They all had another promise: If something doesn’t work out within a certain time frame, from one to two years after the hire, all three groups would take up the job again at minimal cost.

There is no word yet on when the board will decide how to proceed.

Earlier Monday, in a reorganizational meeting, Victor Abate was re-elected board president.