More details emerge on superintendent search


Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd speaks during his first school board meeting back since being injured in a Thanksgiving holiday crash in Jan. 17, 2012 file photo, in Gainesville

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 4:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 4:50 p.m.

Wanted: One highly qualified superintendent of schools.

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Superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd speaks during his first school board meeting back since being injured in a Thanksgiving holiday crash in Jan. 17, 2012 file photo, in Gainesville

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File

The Alachua County School Board began laying out its desired qualifications for a new superintendent for the district's public schools during a retreat at the Matheson Museum on Tuesday.

Superintendent Dan Boyd, who has held the post for nine years, retires Sept. 30.

Part of Tuesday's retreat was spent talking about what kinds of qualities and experiences his successor should have.

“We want it all,” School Board chairwoman Eileen Roy said.

Board members had already agreed to use the Florida School Boards Association to help with a search.

On Tuesday, the board decided on more details.

There will be a nationwide search for the next superintendent, which FSBA executive director Wayne Blanton previously said would encompass the rest of the school year and would cost about $15,000.

The board will begin advertising for the position at the beginning of January.

Ideal candidates will have a minimum of 10 years of administrative experience, both at the school and district levels. A master's degree is required but a doctorate is preferred, board members said.

The board hopes to find a superintendent who has experience in a similar-sized district – Alachua County has about 27,000 students – and who has worked in districts with schools that have declining enrollment and a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

The successful candidate will be offered a three-year contract and an annual salary in the range of $140,000 to $170,000. Boyd is earning $159,000.

The board will seek public input through surveys, which will be sent out in the next month, and at least two public forums in late October or early November. Locations for the public forums will be announced in the next few weeks.

Business, nonprofit and educational focus groups that participated in the last superintendent search in 2004 will be contacted for input again.

Blanton's estimated timeline for a national search would have top candidates visiting in early spring, and the board could make its selection as early as April.

Target start date: July 1.

In the meantime, the board decided, interim superintendent Hershel Lyons should receive a monthly supplement to his salary for carrying out the interim position as well as most of his duties as deputy superintendent.

To keep things running smoothly, some of his responsibilities will be delegated to other district employees.

“Whatever we do, we cannot lose momentum,” Lyons said. “We cannot let this affect the students at all.”

In 2004, former deputy superintendent Sandy Hollinger received a $2,500 monthly supplement while she was interim superintendent.

On Tuesday, the board recommended Lyons receive a supplement of $2,200 a month, plus use of a Ford Explorer the district was leasing for Boyd.

The board is expected to vote on the supplement at next week's meeting.

Lyons reiterated that he will not apply for the permanent superintendent's position. “I'm just looking forward to serving as deputy superintendent when the search is over,” he said.

Contact Erin Jester at 338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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