Baldwin Community Schools in search of superintendent

District is on the second round of interviews

The process for Baldwin Community Schools to fill the district superintendent position is well on its way. (Star photo/Shanna Avery)

The process for Baldwin Community Schools to fill the district superintendent position is well on its way. (Star photo/Shanna Avery)

BALDWIN — Officials at Baldwin Community Schools are feeling optimistic as a search has started to find the right fit for a new superintendent.

The Baldwin Community Schools Board of Education has been looking to fill this position since former superintendent Rich Heitmeyer's contract with the school district ended on June 30. Since then, Mark Parsons was hired as interim superintendent and served a month and a half, and currently the school's business manager, David Forrester, is stepping in.

The school is excited to be working with the company, GPS Solutions, in their journey to find the perfect fit for superintendent, said Shawn Washington, president of Baldwin Community Schools Board of Education.

The company prides itself in thinking outside the box, and using non-traditional methods to ensure there is good synergy between the school district and potential candidates for superintendent, according to Dr. Chris Plum, CEO of GPS Solutions.

"It is exciting. As I'm sure you're aware, we are here to help Baldwin Schools move themselves in a new direction — infusing community, culture and values. If we only use traditional means to get there, we aren't going to get different results," Plum said. "We are excited to help look at different ways to bring leadership into the district."

The process involves conducting a national search and pre-screening interviews for candidates. Town hall meetings are conducted, where stakeholder groups, members of the school board, leadership team, teachers, parents and community can interact and work with the candidates.

"In the past, when candidates were mainly hired based on job fairs and job pedigrees, you found out the hard way what worked and what did not. As a team of educators ourselves, we find it important to get in a space with the folks themselves and find out what they're about, how they operate, their values, what they notice and what they see, and learn what the school is all about," Plum elaborated

"We are looking at human interest. This is about finding a real cultural fit. The school is interviewing the candidates, and the candidates are interviewing the school. "

Washington said the search process is well underway, and the school is on the second round of interviews.

"We are continuously in search for the right district leader who will embrace the mission we have — preparing students for the promise of tomorrow," Washington said. "We need for the leadership to understand the diversity of the kid's learning and the diversity they face in life. If we need to go deeper in the process, we are ready to do that."

Plum said GPS Solutions works to provide the school board data and expertise.

"Ultimately, the board makes the decision on hiring a superintendent. We just bring different angles to consider and look at, and bring the community into that process. However, the final decision rests with the board.

Washington said GPS Solutions has been great to work with.

"GPS is an amazing partner with providing data, and giving us an amazing process to work with. Through this process with GPS, I feel we will find someone with not only high intelligence, but who also is emotionally intelligent to do the tasks and help our students and staff grow and be their best selves — to be a part of our family."

Wasington said the school is creating a website which will be linked to the school's website so the community and families can follow the process in search of a superintendent as it continues.