The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Stafford lists skills for new schools chief
So far, 29 people have applied to lead Stafford County Public Schools.
And those applications came in before the School Board voted Tuesday night on a list of qualifications for potential superintendents.
The qualifications include experience with budgets, experience leading school districts and an ability to collaborate with the School Board and the county supervisors.
School Board members also agreed to look for a candidate who is mid-career, hoping that will attract a superintendent interested in staying put in Stafford. The previous superintendent Randy Bridges left after three years with the division, and School Board members would like the next leader to stick around a little bit longer.
So does the community, according to the results of surveys performed by the superintendent search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates. Nearly 1,000 community members participated in interviews, informational meetings and online surveys.
Many respondents said they wanted a superintendent to be invested in Stafford. Respondents also wanted to see a more transparent budget process and a superintendent who speaks up during board meetings.
Overall, the community spoke favorably about the school division—praising student achievement, a dedicated staff and several programs such as Head Start, special education and international baccalaureate.
But respondents also criticized the division’s teacher pay, facilities and low staff morale.
HYA associate Brad Draeger told the board Tuesday night that as soon as people praised the division’s nationally recognized Head Start program, they mentioned it is housed in an aging and cramped building. As to low staff morale, on follow-up questions, researchers determined that came from low pay.
Respondents also criticized the poor relationship between the School Board and the county’s Board of Supervisors.
The largest group of respondents was parents—346 participated in the research, mostly using the online survey. And 234 teachers participated. Other participants were the School Board members, administrators, service employees, students and community members, including retirees, the county administrator and a liaison with the Quantico Marine Corps Base.
Now that the board has voted on a list of qualifications, the superintendent job will be advertised across the country, and Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates will begin narrowing the list to names of candidates who meet the criteria before bringing a list to the board sometime this fall.
Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973