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The search continues for a new superintendent in East Lycoming

By Staff | Mar 24, 2011

William Martens, executive director from the Blast Intermediate Unit met with teachers and parents over the last two weeks to facilitate the process for hiring a new superintendent at East Lycoming School District. As seen above, he was at Ashkar Elementary on March 9 speaking to a focus group.

HUGHESVILLE – A data gathering process to find a new superintendent for the East Lycoming School district took place over the last few weeks at the various buildings in the district. Blast Intermediate Unit has been assigned to facilitate the process and conducted meetings at the High school library on Feb. 28, Ferrell Elementary school in Picture Rocks on March 1, Ashkar Elementary on March 9 and Renn Elementary in Lairdsville on March 14.

Blast IU Executive Director, William Martens asked parents and teachers from the district what their priorities would be in seeking a good candidate for the position. “We want to ensure a good fit between the skills and interests of the applicants and what they think the priorities should be,” Martens explained to the various focus groups he met with at each building.

“These group discussions will increase chances for accurate, potential candidates. We will look for trends of central tendencies,” he said. Previously, Blast Intermediate Unit was involved in superintendent searches for Montoursville and Sullivan County school districts. “The data will be descriptive rather than statistical thus increasing the chances for a good fit,” he added.

A 5 point questionnaire was given to each group to complete. “We will identify those needs from board responses, teacher responses, support staff and parent responses from this survey,” Martens said who is serving as a clearing house for the district. Blast Intermediate Unit will review all applications, materials, clearances, references and credentials and will serve as a resource for the applicants.

Questions asked included what core values are important, what are the top 3 issues that should be addressed in the district, what personal qualities should be seen and how can communication be improved by administration on district issues.

From reviewing the answers to these questions, data will be tallied and the agency will look for consistent patterns and frequency of responses. The school board was surveyed first. They gave similar responses with priorities on curriculum assessment, budgeting and finance, certification, knowledge of staffing, supervision and evaluation. Knowledge of collective bargaining, state and federal regulations and audits were also on the priority list.

Other issues of concern were community relations, student safety, athletics, student discipline and safe schools.

The data from these focus groups will be shared with the school board and the public. “This is an interest based inventory,” explained Martens “given to board members and the search committee. It’s been a rich data pull.” All data was expected to by compiled by March 15. The application process was closed on March 4 and so far 9 applicants are currently being considered for review.

A new superintendent will be hired in time to start by July 1.