School board hires search firm for superintendent hiring
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – The school board took a step forward in its search for the district’s next superintendent by approving the hire of search firm Hazard, Young and Attea Associates, from Illinois, at a cost not to exceed $35,500, at its meeting Monday, Sept. 16.
“The selection of superintendent is the most important task the board will perform,” said board member Eric Vande Heuvel. “As a board, our success in the search process will affect our school district for years to come. It is extremely important to find the right fit.”
The school board interviewed two search firms at a meeting Sept. 11.
The majority of board members believed Hazard, Young and Attea Associates was the best fit.
Vande Heuvel is spearheading the search process.
He said critical components of the search will be feedback from and communication to all stakeholders, including students, families, district staff and community members.
“With this in mind, I believe that it is in our best interest to contract with a search firm to lead and inform the process,” Vande Heuvel said.
The majority of board members agreed with the selection of Hazard, Young and Attea Associates.
“I am a rock-solid, 100 percent that we need to have a search firm,” said Board Vice President Andrew Becker.
Trustee Rhonda Sitnikau voted against the hiring of Hazard, Young and Attea Associates, noting she believed the board could reach out into the community to help with this process instead of hiring an outside firm.
“I have not heard from one person that I should vote for a search firm,” Sitnikau said. “This is something I have heard consistently. Comments have been made that we have to do the search firm because it will bring us the best candidate. I’m not sure I understand how we know that. My goal is to bring in somebody who is going to come in here and champion and be a game changer.”
Trustee Kristina Shelton was concerned the board didn’t have the capacity to conduct the search.
“I worry about us being able to reach (the most qualified) candidates with our time limitations,” Shelton said. “I wonder about the possibility and likelihood that we’d be able to reach those people.”
Becker had the same thoughts.
“If I thought that there was a way to do it ourselves, I’d certainly be more open to that,” Becker said. “Ultimately, for me I don’t see how we would find enough people with enough specialty knowledge, (candidates) probably aren’t going to give us the time of day.”
The board approved the hiring in a 6-1 vote.
Current Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld announced earlier this year she will retire in 2020.