Superintendent Search

Update: March 13, 2017

(Mercer Island School Board President David D'Souza made the following statement at the March 9 regular Board meeting regarding status of the Superintendent Search)

Tonight, I would like to provide an update on our superintendent search process.

As you know, on January 19, Superintendent Gary Plano announced he will retire on June 30, 2017. At that time, the board diligently began its efforts to find the next superintendent.

Over the past seven weeks, we have held special meetings, in executive session to review the performance of current employees and evaluate the qualifications of internal candidates for a new superintendent. At this time, however, I do not believe that selecting an internal candidate to start work on July 1, 2017 is a viable option. Opportunity, timing, and readiness must converge for us to fill this leadership role and that did not happen.

Therefore, I believe that the board now needs to move forward with a broader superintendent search using a formal process that will involve input from a variety of stakeholders.  This process would provide the Board and the community an opportunity to consider both interim candidates for 2017-18 as well as potential long term candidates starting either July 1 of this year or 2018.

To conduct such a search process, the Board should consider procuring  the services of a superintendent search firm to guide it through the process of finding an interim, if needed, and a long term superintendent.

Starting a school district public web page with information about these efforts and to share schedules, key dates, and progress, is advisable. It would reflect information shared and discussed at public board meetings for easy access by the community and stakeholders.

I think we are all excited to begin this journey and look forward to interacting with the community and stakeholders to find the best superintendent for the Mercer Island School District.  We're an incredibly compelling district with our strong community, our shared values toward education, thriving students, and a brilliant and highly functioning group of teachers and staff.

With that background, I would like to propose that the Board kick off our search with a motion to create a board committee of two members to identify and recommend a search firm to the board for approval who can help design and implement such a process.