POLSON — Bill and Barbara Dean, consultants for McPherson and Jacobson, LLC., spent two days in Polson last week, talking with students, staff, faculty, the school board and the community in the hopes of eventually finding Polson’s next superintendent.
“The scheduling has been great and the turnout has been fabulous,” Barbara Dean told the board on Thursday, April 27 after concluding her meetings with students, faculty and the community.
The Deans, who between the two of them have conducted 22 superintendent searches nationwide, three of which were in Montana, were brought in to speak with as many people as possible in the hopes of not just finding a qualified individual to become Polson’s next superintendent, but precisely the right person for the job.
On Wednesday, while meeting with the community, individuals brought forth several issues that an incoming superintendent would want to know about, including the departure of three administrators, the district being on the Flathead Reservation and the problems surrounding the current board of trustees. Bill Dean made it clear that while it sounds like a lot, it’s nothing completely new to them.
“The issues that you’re unpacking to us so that we can report them as a part of what we report to the board are not unique to Polson,” Bill Dean said. “This goes on all across the country. Leadership issues and trust issues happen all over this country.”
Over the two days, the consultants asked numerous questions regarding not just the school system, but the community as well, and presented the common themes they noticed to the board at the Thursday meeting so they could begin the process of preparing potential interview questions to prospective candidates.
They’ve also posted a survey online (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZRRXYVM) for community members who were unable to attend the meeting. Those people can provide their input regarding the qualities they would like to see out of the next superintendent that the Deans will incorporate in a written report to the board in about a week.
Applicants have until May 16 to apply for the superintendent position before the Deans return on the 31st to meet with the board, discussing with them the candidates they feel best fit the criteria. On June 4, candidates will be invited in to interview for the position.