Green Bay school board looks at superintendent leadership profile
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – The new Green Bay school district superintendent should possess strong organizational and management skills in leading systemic change and value and celebrate diversity, according to a leadership profile prepared by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), the search firm hired by the district.
Board members approved the leadership profile at their special board meeting Monday, Dec. 2.
“This leadership profile will be read by all of the applicants who are interested in coming here so they can have some anticipation of what the strengths are, what the challenges are and what particular characteristics you are looking for,” said Patricia Neudecker, HYA associate.
Neudecker said the firm is in the first phase, or the engagement phase of the search process.
During the last two months, the HYA team conducted 28 face-to-face group listening sessions, individual interviews with all seven board members, an open virtual listening session and an online survey to all district stakeholders.
These interactions generated a list of strengths and challenges the district is currently facing and will face in the coming years.
Every group noted diversity was a strength of the district, and Neudecker said stakeholders desire a leader who not only valued the diversity of the district, but celebrates it.
“One thing that came through in every session is the diversity,” she said. “People are proud of that, and they recognize that that brings to this community potential for all to be enhanced by multiple cultures, multiple languages and multiple traditions.”
Neudecker said challenges raised by focus groups were “significant and concerning, but were also viewed with hopefulness.”
The fractured interaction between board members, and the strained working relationships between board members and staff raised concerns with focus groups – noting a need for a clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities was needed.
“A great start with the collaborative commitments that the board recognized and passed in September, and the recognition that more learning regarding effective boardsmanship is crucial to a high-functioning district,” Neudecker said.
The HYA team took all the information collected from the various groups and developed a leadership profile detailing characteristics district stakeholders want to see in their next superintendent.
Some of these characteristics include:
• Highly skilled with board relations and governance.
• Successful experience with creating equitable practices.
• Relationship builder.
• Strong communicator.
• Demonstrate evidence of successful past performance.
• Celebrates diversity.
• Legislative advocacy.
• Community engagement.
• Leading systemic change.
• Visible and accessible.
• Operational skills required of a large district.
“We are also simultaneously in the recruit phase, so we have been actively engaged with several levels of recruitment,” Neudecker said.
She said the firm has already received applications.
Up next, between now and mid-January, the HYA team will conduct the initial screening and vetting process, with first interviews tentatively scheduled for Jan. 14-15.
The HYA team will be back in front of the board Jan. 20 for an interview workshop.
From there, the board will conduct several rounds of interviews, hold school/community input sessions and conduct background checks, with a tentative hiring in early March.