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Recruiting Firm Heads Superintendent Search

Even though no members of the public attended Monday's open forum, comments are making their way to the search firm, Leadership Associates.

When looking for a new superintendent, Milpitas stakeholders are looking for someone who works well with others, is visible in the schools, gets problems solved and has good budget-management skills. 

Those are the qualities likely to land in the job description that has not been posted yet.

To ensure the most qualified candidate for the job, the Milpitas Board of Education hired Leadership Associates, an executive search firm based in Southern California, to help recruit a new superintendent. 

Peggy Lynch, a partner from Leadership Associates, said her job is to get input from the members of the community and find out the desired qualities and characteristics for the new superintendent. The information received will be used in recruiting and selecting candidates.

Members of the community can provide their input through email. So far, Lynch and her associate have received a number of emails from a mix of people including community groups, parents and staff, she said. 

"After the community's input is processed, a position description, which will feature an overview of the requirements and expectations, will be posted on our website," Lynch said. 

The firm will recruit candidates and put together a list of possible candidates that they think match the desired description. 

"We share that with the board, and the board picks who they want to interview," she said. "But it is ultimately the board's decision."  

The firm also carries out the reference and background checks for the board. 

The deadline for applications is May 2. The search firm will meet with the board on May 11 to decide on candidates to interview. The final interviews will take place on May 22-23. 

Lynch said her firm will continue to take community input through emails even after the job description is posted.

"We'll keep it as part of the documentation and we give it all to the board," she said. "The other thing we do when we get it all done is we give it all to the candidate, because we think the person who is selected should know all this. It's a really good tool for him or her to use." 

The school district is paying the search firm $26,900 for its services. This is the first time the board is working with the firm. 

Leadership Associates has worked with other school districts, including Mount Diablo Unified, San Jose Unified, San Ramon Valley Unified and Santa Clara Unified.  Last school year, it recruited 12 superintendents.

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