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School board adopts superintendent leadership profile

Thanks more than 200 who participated in community forums

Posted: March 29, 2018 5:21 p.m.
Updated: March 30, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees voted recently to adopt a profile calling for its new superintendent to be “an instructional leader with a record of success” and an “innovative servant leader who has a student-centered focus” based on feedback from more than 200 employees, students and community members.

“We greatly appreciate the input that we received from our community about this important decision,” Board Chairman Dr. James Smith said. “This profile (www.kcsdschools.net/profile) represents the key traits and skills that we want to see in our new superintendent. It doesn’t mean that these are lacking in our current leadership, but rather it indicates the attributes that have been determined to be needed going forward. When you read the profile, you can see that many of them describe (outgoing Superintendent) Dr. (Frank) Morgan and build upon his success.”

More than 200 people participated in a series of meetings and interviews with the three-member team from BWP and Associates, the search firm the board hired to assist in the hiring of a new superintendent. Team members are Dr. Bill Symons, Dr. Odell Stuckey and Mary Ann Blaskowitz.

At a recent school board meeting, Stuckey said the team heard many positive comments about Kershaw County, including the fact that it has just been named a finalist in the National Civic League’s All-America City competition, the community is diverse, people are friendly, and it is a great place to live and work. He also said that persons were complimentary of the district for making student learning a priority, having strong student achievement, and having great employees -- especially teachers and support staff.

Blaskowitz shared challenges identified from the input sessions, including building bridges throughout the school district and community, expanding student programs and opportunities, focusing on teacher recruitment and retention, managing growth and facilities and finding ways to collaborate on funding issues. She also said safety, student achievement, technology and special education were mentioned as topics that will need continued attention.

Symons said the team developed a leadership profile building on the positive aspects and incorporating traits and skills needed to meet the upcoming challenges. The profile is divided into five sections: leadership, instruction, personal qualities, communication and fiscal accountability.

The profile calls for the new superintendent to have the ability to secure the confidence of stakeholders and the skills to organize the district’s programs and facilities for effectiveness and efficiency as well as the ability to bring a forward thinking, proactive management style and be respected as one who can engage, motivate and manage a successful school system.

According to the profile, the school board seeks an individual who has the energy, integrity and desire to create a positive culture of respect where there is openness and fairness to all. The board is also looking for an individual who is an active listener who values transparency and open communication.

Persons can help further define what the board should be looking for in the next the district superintendent search by participating in an online survey available on the district’s website at www.kcsdchools.net until April 6. So far, more than 700 people have given their input. The results of the survey will be shared with the board at its April 10 meeting.

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