Parents, students, district staff and the community are invited to take an anonymous online survey to rank attributes they feel are the most important in a new superintendent for the Gilbert Unified School District.
The district is searching internally for a new superintendent after current Superintendent Brad Barrett announced in November he is leaving the district June 30 at the end of his contract. He has been the district’s superintendent for seven years.
The survey will be available on the district’s Web site by the end of the day today at www.gilbert.k12.az.us, and will be online until Jan. 13, said Dianne Bowers, the district’s spokeswoman.
Everyone is encouraged to take the survey, even if they have no children or ties to the district. The anonymous survey will not ask any demographic questions.
Ten attributes will be listed, and the survey taker will be asked to rank the three they feel are the most important. The attributes were chosen by the district governing board, which plans to hire a new superintendent in March.
Gilbert governing board member Helen Hollands said the top-ranked attributes will be used in the interview and essay evaluation process.
“The individual that leads the school district has a direct effect on the quality and excellence in education, which impacts the value of the community,” Hollands said. “It’s important to understand the needs of the community, and not just what we perceive them to be.”
Three examples of the listed attributes are: expects high standards for success among diverse populations; establishes a culture of accountability for student success with demonstrated results; and is an effective communicator, Bowers said.
Two open-ended questions will also be a part of the survey, including asking if there is another important attribute not included in the list, and a question they want the governing board to ask a superintendent candidate, Bowers said.
The application includes five questions the candidate will have to answer in an essay. The answers will be evaluated blind.
“We won’t know which candidate wrote which answer to try to eliminate any potential bias that a board member may have about the individuals,” Hollands said. “Then, during the interview process, since we already know the candidates, we can avoid all the getting-to-know-you pleasantry and really delve into the interview process.”