Perfection needed in new IOW school leader
Published 10:30 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Isle of Wight County School Board is on the hunt for a new superintendent, and that person needs to be stellar.
Some of the requirements include being invested in the community, uplifting teachers’ morale, being knowledgeable about finances, solving problems creatively, having a background as a teacher and understanding of politics in a small town/rural area.
“We want the perfect person,” said Kirsten Cook of Smithfield, who leads the Education Foundation for Isle of Wight Public Schools.
She was the only person to speak during the board’s recent meeting that sought input from what the public would like to have in the new district leader. Dr. Katrise Perera, who announced her resignation for family reasons in December, will leave at the end of June.
The choice for a new superintendent is one that the board does not want to take lightly. In January, the members voted to pay the Virginia School Board Association’s $10,500 fee for its help in the search.
“This is probably the most important decision the board will make,” said Dr. Phil Jepson, director of human resources/leadership development and operations. “The person selected will determine the future of our district.”
Following the public comment period, board members reviewed the online survey, which had 243 questions. Nearly 74 and one-half percent said that the future superintendent must have experience as a principal, followed by 45 percent wanting an earned doctorate and 37.97 percent think that candidate should have experience as a central office administrator.
When it comes to personal characteristics, 43.42 percent say they want someone who is confident; 42.68 percent say they need someone who’s a good listener; and 36.48 percent voted for having enthusiasm.
Robert Eley of the Carrsville district echoed a similar thought to Cook when he said, “We need a superstar.”