IWCS votes for outside help in superintendent search

Published 10:50 am Friday, January 30, 2015

With no discussion in open session, the Isle of Wight County School Board on Wednesday afternoon voted unanimously to spend $10,500 to help find a new superintendent. In early December, Superintendent Dr. Katrise Perera announced that a family matter has compelled her to leave. However, she’s able to stay through to see the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget completed.

Coming out of a nearly hour-long closed session, Chairman Kent Hildebrand said the board members could choose either the direct method of searching by themselves or going outside.

Anthony Hinds, procurement officer, then presented a required minimum of three quotes from agencies that could assist, the first being the Virginia School Board Association. In addition to that aforementioned fee, up to $1,500 could be needed for advertising and travel expenses.

“The $10,500 has come available as a result of unanticipated contract savings that have now been designated toward professional services, such as the Superintendent’s Search,” spokeswoman Kenita Bowers said about the source of the money.

“The additional $1,500 is an approximate figure and is heavily dependent upon the school board’s next course of actions in the search,” she added. “For example, that figure could decrease or increase according to how the search is conducted and where the candidates will be selected from.”

Hazard, Young, Attea from Rosemont, Illinois, wanted a base fee range of $17,500 to $21,000, plus an $850 background check to be performed by a third party. Advertising could have ranged from $1,000 to $1,500; and consultant travel at $500 to $1,000.

Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, asked for a base fee of $15,500 with $2,500 in advertising and travel costs.

Denise Tynes, vice chairwoman, made the motion to go with VSBA, which was seconded by Alvin Wilson. He was recently named to represent the Hardy District after Tina Hill had to leave in December, also for a family-related matter.

During last month’s meeting, both Tynes and Robert Eley of the Carrsville District initially spoke in favor of first looking internally to replace Perera.

Eley said then, “Why look outside the district when we have qualified people here, and are proven to do the job?”

Tynes said at the time, “We’re on a successful road. Rather than rush out, let’s see what we have here.”

Julia Perkins of the Windsor District, then chairwoman, said, “ I feel we need some assistance,” and later added that she didn’t intend to imply the board look outside only.

Newport’s Hildebrand said he had reservations about going outside, and reminded everyone that the board could change with the November elections. He wanted the current panel to establish criteria for the next superintendent, and then to first look internally. If there’s nobody suitable, then search elsewhere.

In other action that day, an online survey will be created for teachers to give their input on what qualities they’d like to see in a new superintendent.

The board also unanimously voted for a memorandum of understanding to contact Minor and Associates for a consultant in the budget process. That person would be available from Feb. 1 to June 30.