Board turns to firm to do superintendent search



NAUGATUCK — The town has hired a firm to start searching for a new superintendent of schools.

The New England School Development Council will lead the search at a cost of about $18,000, but Board of Education Chairman David Heller said the district will get a discount because the interim superintendent of schools is a consultant with the firm.

The school board is meeting with the firm Dec. 10 to discuss the first steps in the process, Heller said.

“We’re hoping that they’re going to tell us what to expect and what we need to do; then we need to get moving,” Heller said. “We’re pretty excited.”

Heller said the search should take about 120 days and the district hopes to hire a candidate by the end of March to start July 1 for the 2014-15 school year.

The consultants working with Naugatuck are former South Windsor Superintendent Joseph Wood and former Old Lyme Superintendent Elizabeth Osga.

The contract comes with a warranty that if the chosen superintendent leaves in under two years, the consulting firm will help to search for a replacement for free, Heller said.

Heller said most of the advertising for a new superintendent will be done online and through educational trade publications throughout New England.

He said the search process will include focus groups and community surveys, as well as input from the community, teachers and administrators, elected officials and noncertified staff.

The Board of Education appointed itself as the search committee this month, but Heller said he wasn’t sure whether anyone else from the community will join the committee.

Heller said he’s looking for a new superintendent to become both an educational and a community leader, who is familiar with the district and who generates a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for education and community engagement. He said the new superintendent should be able to communicate well with students, parents, staff and community members.

The new superintendent should also be open to working with the municipal government to explore shared services to save money, Heller said.

“We would hope that any superintendent who’s hired in Naugatuck would be interested in supporting that effort,” Heller said.

He said the new superintendent will be tasked with providing the best education opportunities at the lowest cost and complying with state and federal mandates including the new Common Core State Standards and the new teacher evaluation system.

Naugatuck is searching for a new school leader at the same time as Watertown, Newtown, and several other districts in the state.

“I hope that the best candidate wants to work in Naugatuck and not those other districts,” Heller said. “It’s a great place to work and it’s a great school district. Any superintendent who comes here is going to love our district.”