Superintendent Search

  • Superintendent Donna Colosky has announced her plans to retire effective July 31, 2022. The School Board has begun discussing the process of selecting her successor. This page will be updated regularly with summaries on School Board meetings regarding the selection process.

    Regular school board meetings are open for public viewing (visit the agenda page for a Zoom link) and are recorded for later viewing. There is a public input segment at the start of these meetings. To sign up for public input, you must submit a form at least one hour before the start of the meeting. The form and instructions can be found here.

    Study sessions are open for public viewing but are not recorded. No action may be taken at study sessions. The schedule of meetings can be found here. Please check back on this page for the most current information on School Board activity regarding the selection process and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback. The School Board can be reached via e-mail at any time at board@mercerislandschools.org.

    Earlier this year, the School Board requested input from the community to help determine what values are most important to our stakeholders in our next superintendent. The Board used ThoughtExchange to solicit input from our community, and we had tremendous participation throughout the process. There were a total of 1,491 participants in the ThoughtExchange and a total of 1,618 shared thoughts.

    During the Oct. 14th, 2021, School Board meeting, the Board was presented with a summary of the ThoughtExchange results.

    If you would like to view the full results, you can access the results page of the ThoughtExchange through the ThoughtExchange Discover page.

    Lydia Musher from Tradition Search Partners is conducting Zoom meetings with MISD familes, teachers and staff from January 10 to January 13 to gather feedback on the characteristics and traits these groups would like to see in the new Superintendent. Families, teachers and staff can sign up to take part in these Zoom meetings on this Sign Up Genius page https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4caea728aaf58-misd 

    Search for new Superintendent FAQ

    RFP For Superintendent Search

    Meeting Schedule:

    1/13/2022 Special Meeting (Update to Board)
    Ms. Musher reported on her meetings to date with district stakeholders, answering general questions about the meetings, her process, and plans. She had spoken with 79 people from our district at the time of the meeting. Ms. Musher expects to deliver a written report to the board on 1/21/2022 together with a list of priorities for board members to rank. The board will hold a Special Meeting on 1/24 to rank the priorities and determine next steps.
     
    1/10/2022 - 1/20/2022 Search consultant virtual visit
    On January 10, Lydia Musher from Tradition Search Partners began conducting a series of Zoom interviews with district stakeholders (parents, teachers, staff, students, and community members). Most interviews were done in groups of 10, with additional meetings being added as needed. These interviews are scheduled to conclude on 1/20.

    1/2/2022 Contract Signed
    A contract with Tradition Search Partners has been signed. More details will be forthcoming on next steps re. community and school outreach by the search firm.

    12/15/21 Special Meeting
    The board interviewed the third search firm today, then held a discussion and voted on a selection. The board chose Tradition Search Partners of Houston, Texas, conditional upon board representatives (President and Vice President) being able to work out contract details with the firm.

    12/14/21 Special Meeting
    The board interviewed two search firms today. No action was taken.

    12/10/21 Special Meeting
    The board held a special meeting to discuss the five search firms that submitted proposals this week. They voted to advance three firms to Zoom presentations / interviews scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 14 and Wednesday, Dec. 15, to be followed by selection of a firm. The three firms are GR Recruiting, Ray and Associates, and Tradition Search Partners. The board also came up with a list of questions to submit to the firms in advance and voted to approve that list.
     
    12/09/21 Regular Meeting
    The board president gave a brief update on progress in finding a superintendent search firm. The board received five proposals from search firms on or before Dec. 8 and will hold a Special Meeting on Dec. 10 to discuss these and select three finalists. The board will meet again on Dec. 14 to choose a firm from among these finalists and to authorize a committee of two to negotiate and sign a contract with the firm.

    11/23/21 Special Meeting
    The board heard public comment on the superintendent succession. The committee then reported on the availability and approximate costs of hiring a search firm or consultant to conduct a superintendent search. The Board discussed possible next steps and voted 4-1 to conduct a search, then 5-0 to approve a Request for Proposals (RFP) proposed by the committee. The RFP will be sent out and posted on November 24, with responses due from search firms by Dec. 8.

    The Board discussed the 2022-23 superintendent succession, including process, committee establishment, and timeline. The Board voted to schedule a special meeting for further discussion and action on superintendent succession as well as to receive a report from the designated committee of two (President Tucker and Vice President D’Souza) on superintendent search firms, if needed.
     
    The Board held a special meeting to discuss the status of the superintendent selection process and to hear public input.
     
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g).
     
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g).
     
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g).
     
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) and RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).
     
    10/14/21: Regular Meeting
    The Board reviewed the results from the community Thought Exchange.
     
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g).
     
    The Board voted to move forward immediately with a Thought Exchange seeking public input regarding the next superintendent. The language of the Thought Exchange question is attached to the meeting agenda.

    9/23/21: Special Meeting/Executive Session
    The Board held an executive session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) and RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).

    The Board reviewed draft questions to ask in soliciting community input on the superintendent selection via Thought Exchange. The Board decided on a single open ended question (following the best practices recommended by Thought Exchange). This will be passed to district communications staff to implement.
     
    The Board held a preliminary discussion of what questions to ask in soliciting community input on the superintendent selection via Thought Exchange. The president and vice president will generate a draft for the Board to review at its next study session.

    8/26/21: Regular Meeting
    The Board approved setting up a superintendent succession communication webpage and the first set of entries for regular updates. The Board also approved using the Thought Exchange tool for gathering feedback on the next superintendent.

    8/24/21: Special Meeting/Study Session
    The Board began the work towards finding the next superintendent. The study session included a presentation by a representative from ThoughtExchange. Discussion occurred about using this tool to gather community, student and staff feedback on the next superintendent, as well as other matters affecting the District.

    8/12/21: Regular Meeting
    The Board agreed to focus on gathering community input towards the superintendent search. The Board will hold weekly study sessions on Tuesdays which will be announced on BoardDocs, under the School Board tab on the District's website. The first study session will cover the discussion management and feedback tool, ThoughtExchange. https://www.thoughtexchange.com/ No action will be taken at study sessions. Any needed action will occur at a regular board meeting.