One of the most important roles the Alexandria School Board has is in the selection and management of a superintendent of schools.
Although it can advise the superintendent on the selection of school employees, the board has no role in selecting any other individual in the school district.
The board has only two employees, the clerk of the board and the superintendent.
And now the board is searching for an individual capable of running the school system, a multi-million dollar corporation, with 2,000 employees and more than 10,000 students.
Until recently, the eyes and ears of the School Board in their selection process for superintendent have been left in the dark as to their advisory role.
The 27 members of the Superintendent Search Advisory Committee are professionals, civic leaders, teachers, politicians, all representing the demographics of Alexandria.
The advisory committee, along with School Board members and the community, was asked by Ray and Assoc., the search firm hired by the city, to fill out surveys listing the desired qualities of a successful candidate for the position.
When that survey was completed, the role of the advisory committee was questioned, since no outline or agenda had been requested or outlined by the school board.
They got off to a rocky start, said board member Yvonne Folkerts, but I think weve ironed out any bumpy roads we started on.
Last week the advisory committee held an organizational meeting, outlining objectives and establishing a hierarchy internal to the group to keep order at the newly organized monthly meetings.
The advisory committee has no role in interviewing candidates or looking at records.
As to how effective the group will be, former School Board chair and current committee member Henry Brooks said, When there are a group of final candidates, committee members will go on a site visit, talk with the school board the candidate works with, talk to the NAACP in that community, talk to the sheriff in that community.
The School Board has also asked the committee to give us feedback on what the groups they represent say and the questions they have, Folkerts said.
On Nov. 28 the board will hold a joint work session with the committee at GW Middle School.
For more on the superintendent search, go to www.acps.k12.us.