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Residents Profile What They Want in the Next Schools Chief

Search firm: Greenwich is the "big stage with big issues."

Residents Profile What They Want in the Next Schools Chief Residents Profile What They Want in the Next Schools Chief

Greenwich is a school district "that will motivate talented candidates," says consultant Bill Librera of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), the firm hired to recruit candidates as the town's next schools superintendent.

The final stages of HYA's Leadership Profile Development are underway with two community forums last night at and with a third this evening planned at at 7 o'clock. Hopefully, there will be more feedback from the community — ony 5 parents attended the Central Middle School forum.

If Greenwich residents can't attend the forum, they are encouraged to complete HYA's online survey, which will be available until Thursday, Jan. 12.

HYA is being paid $21,000 consulting fee plus expenses (such as site visits to candidates, advertising, etc.) to manage the search lead by HYA Chairman of the Board Bill Attea with Librera, a former New Jersey Commissioner of Education.

The elephant in the room

Longtime RTM member Steve Wilson asked Librera last night the question that is many residents' minds, "Is it reasonable to think that a qualified superintendent would be willing to come here?"

What's to love?

Another attendee, Jean-Jacques Illi, a 20-year resident of Greenwich with a first-grade son at who said he made a conscious decision to send his son to public school, helped to answer Wilson's question about the attractiveness of Greenwich.

Illi said that the lure of Greenwich is that it is a "vibrant community" with a "good geographical location" and "financial resources." Another selling point for Illi — the residents are "strong minded," so much so that he finds it "intellectually extremely rich. I love Greenwich - it is paradise."

Librera agreed stating the in Greenwich "you have opportunity." HYA is holding these forums to hear straight from stakeholders' mouths the strengths and challenges of the district.

Characteristics

Warm-hearted, stamina, a presence, abiity to communicate and collaborate, inspirational, consensus builder are just some of the traits and criteria that residents expressed as important.

Residents also said they want a strong manager who has the ability to develop a team and leaders as well as a track record in a comparable district. There were also nods when the word stability was mentioned as Librera said that "ongoing leadership that offers continuity" is another criteria staff and residents are seeking.

Librera said that the good news is that there is a definitely a consensus among the stakeholder groups and individuals that HYA has surveyed and interviewed so far.

HYA has conducted more than 900 searches nationwide and plans to catalog the data and information gathered through the leadership profile and deliver that data to the school board on Jan. 19.

Librera, who said that the firm will also seek out viable candidates through recruitment, projects that Greenwich super search should conclude by the end of March or the beginning of April which would give the selected candidate 60-90 days to give notice with a July or Aug. 1 start date in "paradise."

The new superintendent will replace Sidney Freund who left the district in August. Until his replacement is found, former superintendent Roger Lulow is the interim schools leader.

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