New consultants to aid superintendent search

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As the next step in what has been a turbulent search for the citys new school chief, the School Board has hired executive consulting firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates Ltd., to aid their quest for a new superintendent.

The decision was made April 3, two days after the Board announced that it was parting ways with Ray and Associates.

“The School Board is committed to finding a highly qualified, superior candidate for the position of Alexandria’s superintendent and we will not compromise those high standards,” stated Chairwoman Claire Eberwein in a released statement. “Our students deserve nothing less. We ask the community for its support and patience as we continue this important work.”

The search, which was originally budgeted for $40,000, will remain within the budgets boundaries, according to the statement, released April 8. A representative from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates was reached by phone Tuesday, but said that at this point in the search process, their policy is not to comment. The contract signed with Ray and Associates was reportedly worth $20,000.  

The Board believes the work can be conducted within the amount originally budgeted for the search, the press release stated. An expedited and comprehensive superintendent search will take place, according to the statement.

Were not paying for work were not getting, School Board Member Blanch Maness said over the phone Friday, adding that she thought citizens would be proud if they saw how the board was working together.

Details surrounding the search have occurred predominately behind closed doors, which School Board Member Blanch Maness said it was out of respect for the pending candidates.

When you are in deliberations over hiring, its all about personal matters, Maness said. You have to be thinking about the perspective of the people involved.

The board had narrowed the search to three candidates before splitting with Ray and Associates: Collier County, Fla. Assistant Superintendent Eric Williams, Paterson, NJ Superintendent Michael Glascoe, and current Martinsville, Va. Superintendent Scott Kizner. Kizner withdrew his name from the running April 1.

I didnt see any reason to continue, Kizner told the Martinsville Bulletin . I withdrew my candidacy because, honestly, the response of the community and this whole process has taught me the importance of a good school board.

Maness said that the School Board was in unanimous agreement regarding Ray and Associates departure. We are working together as a board and we are continuing to move forward as a board, she said.

Two former superintendents and current principals of the new search firm, Dr. William Attea and Dr. Henry Bangser, will be leading the search for Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, headquartered in Glenview, IL.

The School Board is expected to meet with the new consultants today in a closed meeting.

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