Board chooses consulting firm for superintendent search

Lucy Tantum

In a continuation of their search for a new superintendent, the Tam District Board of Trustees chose a search firm during Tuesday’s meeting.

During a special meeting convened on Tuesday evening, Board members heard presentations from two search firms before deliberating and voting.

The two firms, David Long and Associates and the Cosca Group, were each allotted 20 minutes to present the strengths of their respective firms.  The board voted unanimously to utilize the Cosca Group for the superintendent search.

This vote is just one step in a lengthy process that began when Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel announced on Jan. 12 that she would be resigning in June.  Soon after the announcement, the Board decided at a meeting on Jan. 28 not to find an interim superintendent, instead beginning the search for a permanent replacement.

The Board did emphasize that if they do not find a capable candidate by July 1, they would not settle for the wrong person and would instead elect an interim superintendent.

Board member Bob Walter stated that the search firm will cost about $20,000.

Board members listen to presentations by the search firms.
Board members listen to presentations by the search firms.

Both search firms stressed that they would make an effort to become thoroughly acquainted with the district and its unique qualities.

“The heart of our process is finding out as much as we can about the school district,” a Cosca Group consultant said. “A great success of a superintendent in one district does not guarantee success in another district.”

The question of community input pervaded both search firm presentations. Both firms said that the district could decide how much input they wanted.

“I’ve met with the chief of police, the mayor, the newspaper editor, a variety of people that the board has asked to come in,” Dave Long and Associates consultant Barry Reed said. “I think it’s important that you have a variety of ways to gather information.”

The Cosca Group said that they once met with 65 organizations in one community in their search for a superintendent.

Several community members stood up during the comment period of the meeting to express their desire that the superintendent search be an open, inclusive process. Board members echoed these sentiments.

“We have a community of stakeholders who are very interested in being part of the process,” Walter said. “We have a large number of feeder districts, and each one of those schools has its own style and temperament. We’re sort of a mini United Nations here.”