Five groups of Hays school district staff and administration, along with community members, were quizzed Monday about characteristics they want to see in the next USD 489 superintendent.
The search for John Thissen’s replacement is underway by the Kansas Association of School Boards Leadership Services Field Specialist Gary Sechrist.
The input was shared with Hays school board members Monday night.
“Our focus is to have some trends starting to develop,” said Sechrist. “The characteristics are really important for us and for you. When we start vetting of candidates, we do our best to try to match candidates to the characteristics that you wish.”
School board members were then asked the same questions, who concluded there are five traits they would use to choose between equally qualified candidates. The board said they want someone who is a genuine leader with a successful track record, is innovative, and has integrity.
They also talked about the strengths of the school district as well as the critical needs the new superintendent should address.
Rebuilding internal relationships as well as those with the public were cited as top concerns along with facilities improvements. The board also wants to improve long-range planning, professional pathways for teachers and ways to retain current staff and attract new employees.
Current staff was praised for being innovative and important to the goals of the school district. Community resources were also cited as a strength for USD 489.
Each board member will draft their top three to five interview questions of superintendent candidates to be compiled January 7.
Applications will be screened Jan. 28 by a three-person team chaired by KASB. The board will hear the report during their regular meeting that evening at 6:30 p.m. Sechrist said the board should expect three to four vetted candidates.
The top candidates will be interviewed by school board members first week of February.
Thissen gave his letter of resignation to the board on Oct. 19. He will remain in place through his current contract, which ends June 30, 2019.
In other business Monday:
- 2017/2018 audit report was presented by Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball
- Principal Martin Straub shared revisions to the 2018/2019 Hays High School Curriculum Guide
- Announcement of Keith Hall as new director of Finance & Support Services starting Jan. 2. Hall most recently served as the Osborne USD 392 Superintendent and elementary school principal.