The DPS Board of Education announced the search for a new Superintendent on July 17, 2018. The preferred application date is due Oct. 15, 2018, and the board intends to name the finalist(s) by Nov. 26. The board is required by law to name the finalist(s) at least 14 days prior to making the official appointment of the new superintendent as required by state law.
The nationwide search for the next superintendent is an all-hands-on-deck effort for all members of the Board of Education. Board President Anne Rowe said, “Choosing a superintendent is the most important responsibility that we as board members have. The search, interview and selection process can be a challenging and complex endeavor. Our families expect for us to be thorough in this work, and we will be.”
Going into this search, we quickly recognized the need for ensuring that we are extremely diligent in this effort. To aid in their search, the board has hired a 3rd party HR firm to help facilitate the human resources components of the search process (recruitment, screening, selection and transition planning). An external hiring firm helps ensure the integrity of the process and that our superintendent search receives the national attention it deserves .
To select a 3rd party HR firm, the board engaged in the following process:
- On July 30, 2018, the board met publicly to discuss and decide on the option to hire an external hiring firm to support our search.
- Board Members Lisa Flores and Jennifer Bacon volunteered and were empowered by their board colleagues to lead the vetting and selection of a firm.
- Over a period of several weeks, Board Members Flores and Bacon reviewed formal proposals, interviewed and ranked firms. In addition, they spoke to other firms who ultimately did not submit formal proposals.
- The firms were vetted for their commitment to inclusivity, equity and willingness to incorporate community insights into their work, as well as their cost, depth of experience in large public searches, track record for effectiveness and the capacity to work within the three-month time period the board has established for the search process.
- The board reviewed formal proposals from 4 organizations and spoke to 2 additional firms who ultimately did not submit proposals.
- On August 9, the board selected HYA Associates (Hazard, Young, Attea Associates) as the external hiring firm to support the superintendent search. HYA Associates was chosen, in part, because they have conducted over 1200 executive searches and are represented by associates across the nation. They have also conducted searches for more than half of the member districts of the Council of Great City Schools and 47 of the 100 largest school districts in the country. HYA has strong connections with The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and the Association for Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS).
The board’s hiring of a 3rd party HR firm aims to mitigate the potential of internal influence on the search process as well as leverage best practices in conducting such important and high profile searches. Internal candidates are welcome to apply for the position and they will be objectively evaluated against others applicants and a rubric made in consultation with community stakeholders. Internal candidates will receive no special treatment or consideration. A diverse pool of candidates is sought, from lifelong educators to non-traditional candidates with strong leadership and administrative experience. In leaning on the firm to manage the application process and facilitate aspects of the screening, selection and transition processes, the Board is taking steps to maintain its neutrality for the benefit of the candidates and the community.
The board will:
- develop the candidate competencies and characteristics,
- lead outreach,
- lead publicity and
- lead the recruitment of candidates.
It will use the search firm to:
- receive and screen applications,
- develop protocols for interviews,
- lead due diligence and background checks and
- facilitate Board deliberation and determination of semifinalists.
On Sept. 6, the Board of Education announced it would hire an external facilitator, Dimension Strategies, to support large community meetings. The firm is a locally-owned, minority- and women-owned business. The firm was hired in order to the best possible experience for participants, the most fruitful conversations and the most thorough data collection possible. Beginning on Sept. 11, Dimension Strategies began leading the large community meetings and collecting data. Their finding can be found on the Community Meeting Survey Results page.
The contract with Dimension Strategies can be viewed here.
The Board of Education is keenly aware that this work is ultimately our responsibility. The board takes ownership of this very serious process and the decision, and we are holding ourselves accountable throughout. DPS is committed to finding the most qualified candidate who can continue the progress made toward our strategic plan, the Denver Plan 2020.